Low-Sugar Applesauce

applesauceThis is the time of year when Minnesotans love heading to their local orchard or (if they are lucky) harvesting the last few apples off the tree for eating and preserving. One of our favorite ways to preserve apple deliciousness is by making applesauce.

Here’s a recipe from Northern Gardener editor Mary Schier for a very low-sugar applesauce:

Low-Sugar Applesauce

2 cups apple cider

About 25 large cooking apples  (Cortlands work well)

Cinnamon

Sugar or maple syrup to taste

Peel, core and chop in about 1/8ths the apples. Pour the cider in the bottom of a large stockpot, then add the apples and cook until quite soft. You can mash them with a potato masher or a spoon for a chunkier sauce or use an immersion blender for a very smooth sauce. When the apples are cooked down, add about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, more if you like it spicy. Then, taste a spoonful. (Let it cool first!) You can then add whatever sweetener you’d like. About 1/2 cup of apple syrup (made from cider and sugar) was what Mary used, but you could add more or less sugar, honey or maple syrup.

To Store the Sauce

This makes a large batch. You can freeze it by putting the sauce in large freezer bags, squeezing out the air, then laying the bags flat on a cookie sheet to freeze. When they are frozen, just stack them in the freezer. Or, you may want to can the sauce in pint-sized jars. To do that, wash and sterilize the jars and lids, according to these directions, then pour the hot sauce in hot jars. Cover with lids, tighten and can in a boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes. Remove the jars and listen for the pops that signal that your jars have sealed.

What is your favorite recipe for apples?

Would you like to Sample the Local Harvest? Taste apples, honey, wines and other goodies at the MSHS Sample the Local Harvest event, Thursday, Oct. 18, at 5:30 p.m. at Linder’s Garden Center in St. Paul.

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