Warm Cinnamon Applesauce

Thanksgiving is less than a week away (!!!) and obviously I am dreaming of the Turkey Day dinner… and dessert. While I love the warmth of pumpkin, pecan and cranberry, there’s another holiday flavor that tends to get overlooked — apple. Deliciously sweet and incredibly versatile, I love the addition of warm applesauce on the Thanksgiving table.

This year, we’re spending the holiday with my in-laws and one thing that I always look forward to at their Thanksgiving is homemade potato pancakes. They may not be a typical Thanksgiving side but they are the warmest, yummiest and crunchiest addition that almost calls for cinnamon applesauce on top. We have those who prefer chunky and those who like smooth so this year, I tried my hand at a homemade version that falls right in between.

applesauce

* Note: This recipe yields approximately 2-3 cups of applesauce.

Ingredients:
– 5 medium-sized Gala apples
– 1 large lemon
– 1 cup of water
– 1 cup of brown sugar
– 2 cinnamon sticks
– 1-2 tsp of ground cinnamon

Directions:
Many applesauce recipes tell you to peel the apples before cooking… and I have the exact opposite opinion. I love seeing bits of peel in the applesauce. It provides a rustic appearance and texture, which I love. So, after rinsing your apples, cut them into slices. You can use a corer or knife (whatever your little heart desires). Toss your slices into a pot over medium heat. I often opt for my Le Creuset round french oven for sauces like this but really any pot will work just fine.

Add in the remaining ingredients: the juice of 1 large lemon, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon (approx. 1-2 tsp). Increase to medium-to-high heat, slightly covered (leave it open a bit so steam can escape the pot) and let the mixture hang out and bubble for 25 minutes.

A lot of applesauce recipes include butter and my advice: NO BUTTER! Don’t get me wrong, I love butter (who doesn’t) but there’s really no reason to add it to your applesauce mixture. Sugar, cinnamon, sweet apples… you’re already covered.

Once your apples are ready, remove the cinnamon sticks and pour the mixture into your Cuisinart, pulsing slightly until you get the perfect combo of chunky and smooth. I like it somewhere in between because it really shows off the apple without tasting like super soft baby food. If you like to serve it warm, simply place into a serving dish. But it’s also really good chilled — so feel free to pop it into the fridge for a bit before serving too, if that is your preference. Either way, I promise this cinnamon applesauce recipe will be a yummy side dish on your Thanksgiving table.

Let me know how you like it! TGIF and happy cooking!