I’m not a fan of applesauce. As with most of my issues and idiosyncrasies, I’m pretty sure this is my mother’s fault. Before I was old enough to swallow a pill with a glass of water, she would crush up my medicine in applesauce and make me eat it whenever I was sick. And we discovered throughout my childhood that I was allergic to (i.e. would throw up for 24 hours after ingesting) quite a few antibiotics. So I’ve tasted disgusting antibiotic-laced applesauce on the way down and also on the way back up. A lot. You really can’t blame me for not making applesauce my snack of choice.
However, I am now a mother. And generally speaking, kids like applesauce. In fact, much to my chagrin, my kids looooove applesauce. To cut costs and also to make it a healthier snack, I started making my own applesauce. Because what’s more Susie Homemaker than making something from scratch?!? Nothing, that’s what.
Now, I basically just made this up and I reckon I’m doing it right because it’s yummy and doesn’t give me horrible flashbacks to my youth when I have a bite. There is probably a better way to do this, but this is how I do it. So feel free to consult the almighty Google for alternative options if you think I’ve got it all wrong. 😉
First, grab whatever apples are left over from last week’s grocery run. Have some pears? Great! Those are perfect for this. I like to do both whenever possible. Remove any stickers, give them a rinse and a dry, then wrap each one individually in aluminum foil, arranging the closure of foil at the top of the fruit like so.
Place all your foil-wrapped fruit on a cookie sheet. I use my stoneware Large Bar Pan from The Pampered Chef. Whatever pan you use, do yourself a favor and make sure it has a lip around the edge in case the juices overflow your wrapping job (this can happen if you forget you’ve got them baking, not that I’ve ever done that). I learned the hard way that a baking sheet with a lip is important whenever you are baking anything that might expel juices during cooking. The dish was meatballs, and it was our first “dinner party” after getting married. There was smoke and mess and it would have been mortifying if it hadn’t been church friends who loved us and totally didn’t care.
Now, put your pan in the oven and set it to bake at 350. You will know they are done when you can easily stick a fork in your fruit. It will take at least an hour, but this is all dependent on several factors: type of fruit, how much you are baking, etc., etc. So what I am saying is, keep an eye on it.
When you’ve determined that your apples and/or pears have baked completely, let them cool. You don’t have to let them cool completely, but you definitely don’t want to turn off the oven and immediately attempt to unwrap those foil packets. They’re gonna be hot, y’all. And I’m sure apple steam facials are all the rage somewhere in the world, but just be patient and let them cool.
Once they are cool, open up the foil, core the fruit, discard the cores and throw all the fruit in your blender. Then blend it until it’s nice and smooth!
Eat it straight out of your blender, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy it over the next few days. And tell everyone you know how you made applesauce… From scratch.
Oh, and feel free to experiment! During blending, try adding some cinnamon or honey! You could also consider cooking up some strawberries or other fruit to make a different flavor blend. We keep ours simple because I discovered that cinnamon and my baby’s face are not exactly what we would call “friends.” But if you don’t have that issue, go nuts and let me know what you come up with!