Oh my, do I love apples and apple sauce! Homemade apple sauce, I should add. Making your own apple sauce for the upcoming Hanukkah holiday is to me as important as making your own cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving–it’s critical. It also does not take much time or effort. Apples in season do the hard work for you and make this simple sauce extraordinary.
What is needed, beyond fresh, juicy apples? Not much at all. Depending on how you like your sauce, sweet or less sweet, there are numerous apples or combinations of apples to choose from. For helpful tips on apple variations, descriptions and availability, check out this link. For my recipe, I use Honeycrisp apples, which are my absolute favorite. A “newish” apple varietal developed in the 1960’s, Honeycrisp apples were designed to balance sweetness and tartness. Their flavor reminds me of fresh pressed apple cider–something I have loved since I was a kid! I consider these my go-to not only for eating, but also for cooking, baking, even cocktails. The reality is that any apple can and will work, so feel free to go with whichever apple variety you love most. But if you’ve never done so, I do suggest giving Honeycrisps a try.
To the apples I prefer adding a combination of regular and brown sugar, my little secret. This may be different from other recipes you’ve tried. I also like a delicate balance of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract. If the apples are good ones, the flavoring agents just enhance the fresh apple flavor even more, keeping this apple sauce clean and elegant–the perfect complement to a perfectly cooked potato latke.
- 8 honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Step 1 Using a large saucepan, add the apples, water, regular and brown sugars, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Step 2 Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Allow to cool slightly.
- Step 3 Once cool enough to handle, place in a kitchen mixer, such as a Cusinart, fitted with a blade attachment and puree until smooth.
- Step 4 Pour into a large glass jar and store in the refrigerator. This applesauce will keep for 4 days.