Homemade applesauce is a beautiful thing and this recipe is as simple as they come, if you can even call it a recipe since it is just four ingredients. You can use any variety of apples that you want. I bought a big bag of local Gala apples on special at the grocery store so I just used those but I think a mix of two or three apple types would be delicious. Next time I make this, I am going to try a Honeycrisp and Granny Smith combo.
You want to leave the apples in decent sized pieces otherwise they will cook too fast and not develop as nice of a flavor with the sugar and cinnamon. The liquid in the pot should be about level with the apples, so if it starts to get too low while cooking, just add another splash of cider or water. You definitely do not want these to scorch!
I like really chunky applesauce so I went with the potato masher method. There is still a ton of apple texture since the apples have been cooked just right and are not to the completely mushy stage. Even if you want a much smoother texture you still want the apples to be cooked perfectly, just use a blender or food processor instead. This applesauce is an amazing side dish, breakfast, or snack and can also be used in many baked goods as a substitute for butter, oil, or eggs. I made super delicious apple streusel muffins with this applesauce, which I will be sharing soon.
Inspired by The Pioneer Woman
4 lbs apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup apple cider or water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Peel the apples, slice into 8 pieces, and place in a large pot or dutch oven. Stir in the water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook uncovered over medium heat for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the apples are tender, mash with a potato masher or puree with a blender or food processor depending on what texture you are looking for. The potato masher will result in a chunkier applesauce while you can get much smoother with a blender or food processor. Be very careful blending the hot apples; do not over fill the blending container or you could have a huge hot mess all over your kitchen. Let cool to room temperature and transfer to an air tight container to keep in the refrigerator.