Menu
Search
Menu
Close

Simple Applesauce

Published September 2002

Why This Recipe Works

When we decided to develop an applesauce recipe, preserving the taste of fresh apples was paramount. First, we chose the right apple. We chose McIntosh for their colorful skins, their balanced sweet/tart flavor, and their tendency to break down readily. Second, we learned it was best not to peel the apples; cooking the the fruit with the skin on further boosted flavor in our applesauce recipe.

Ingredients

Print Shopping List

4 pounds apples (8 to 12 medium), unpeeled, cored, and cut into rough 1 1/2-inch pieces
¼ cup granulated sugar
Pinch table salt
1 cup water

Optional Flavorings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter - stir into finished sauce
3 inch cinnamon sticks (2) -- cook with apples and remove prior to pureeing
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon - stir into finished sauce
1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen) - cook and puree with apples
4 whole cloves - cook with apples and remove prior to serving
1 ½ inch piece fresh ginger, sliced into three pieces and smashed - cook with apples and remove prior to pureeing
1 teaspoon lemon zest - cook and puree with apples
2 tablespoons lemon juice - stir into finished sauce
cup Red Hot candy - cook and puree with apples
2 pieces star anise (whole) - cook with apples and remove prior to serving

Featured Equipment

From The Shop

Instructions

Serves 7 (Makes about 3 1/2 cups)

We like the tart flavor of McIntosh apples in this recipe, but Jonagold and Pink Lady apples are good, too. Nearly any variety of apple can be substituted, except for Red and Golden Delicious. Applesauce made with out-of-season apples may be somewhat drier than sauce made with peak-season apples, so it’s likely that in step 2 of the recipe you will need to add more water to adjust the texture. If you double the recipe, the apples will need 10 to 15 minutes of extra cooking time.

1. Toss apples, sugar, salt, and water in large, heavy-bottomed nonreactive Dutch oven. Cover pot and cook apples over medium-high heat until they begin to break down, 15 to 20 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally with wooden spoon to break up any large chunks.

2. Process cooked apples through food mill fitted with medium disk. Season with extra sugar or add water to adjust consistency as desired. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or chilled. (Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days.)

Share photos, tips, and questions about Simple Applesauce with fellow fans!

0 Comments
Try All-Access Membership to Unlock the Comments
Don't miss the conversation. Our test cooks and editors jump in to answer your questions, and our members are curious, opinionated, and respectful.
Membership includes instant access to everything on our sites:
  • 10,000+ foolproof recipes and why they work
  • Taste Tests of supermarket ingredients
  • Equipment Reviews save you money and time
  • Videos including full episodes and clips
  • Live Q&A with Test Kitchen experts
Start Free Trial
JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.