My kids actually like this better than the Mott's fruit cup I usually buy for them. It takes a small bit of extra effort because you have to peel your own apples and chop them up but it's worth it.
So here is homemade applesauce a la Zeemaid:
- chopped or grated apples (11 medium apples makes four cups)
- approx 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup of honey or 3/4 cup sugar
In a large pot add a skiff of water, enough to cover the bottom of the pot and for the apples to sit in. Add lemon juice. Set on medium high heat.
Chop or grate your apples. Grating your apples allows them to cook and break down faster. If you like a chunkier texture to your sauce then I'd recommend chopping. I chopped mine.
Add your apple slices to the pot as you go, pausing to stir once in a while to ensure that all the apples get covered with the water/lemon mixture. Keeps apples from browning.
Keep the pot at a low simmer. Once the apples seem to have started to break down and soften add the sugar or honey. I used honey because it's supposed to be better for you. Add the sugar at a half cup at a time. Taste it and see if you want to add more. Depending on how sweet your apples are you may need more or less than what I've written here. Also do you like sweet or more tart apple sauce?
Test the apples with a fork, are they soft enough to mash? If you want to add cinnamon do so a t this stage. Then take a potatoe masher and mash apples in the pot. Allow the apples to continue to simmer for a couple of minutes until it's the consistency you are looking for. If after mashing you find that maybe the apples are not soft enough, add a little water if needed and continue simmering until you're happy with it. Remove from heat and cool before serving.
I didn't add cinnamon to my batch because it tends to make the mixture a browny color which can be nice but I wanted a nice golden apple sauce to appeal to the kids.
This is basic recipe that you can add on to and tweak to your heart's content. Add peaches or berries and you have a nice mixed apple sauce.
I used freezer jam plastic containers to "jar" my sauce and freeze. I even started add a spoonful their dinner plates. They really like it and it's helped them their meat. I just tell them to dip their meat in the sauce and voila no complaints.
Hope you try it out. If you do, let me know. I'd love to hear your ideas.