Something that invokes the very essence of Autumn is the harvesting of apples, and from that the making of homemade applesauce. To me, nothing smells as amazing as our house permeated with the scent of apples roasting in the traditional “fall” spices of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. (I also add cardamom. So good.)
When we lived in Tennessee we bought apples from a bulk foods co-op that provided us with some fantastic produce. Because of this I was able to make a LOT of applesauce for the family. Since we moved back to IL, we don’t have this resource available. Happily, on our new farm, we have one apple tree that produces. We were able to make some applesauce and apple butter with the apples.
Over the years, I tried making my applesauce on the stovetop, but it often burned because I don’t have the patience to stand over the sauce as it cooks and stir it to prevent the burning. In the roaster or in the roaster oven, the apple slow-cook. This makes the flavors stand out so much better. They turn out more mellow and deep. The sauce also doesn’t burn unless you are VERY negligent.
1 bushel of apples, (about 32 apples,) peeled, cored and quartered
2 quarts of water
1 c. brown sugar, (packed)
1 c. white sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cardamom
½ t. ground clove
- Put all of the ingredients in a roaster pan.
- Place in a 170 degree oven, uncovered. (Or in a roaster oven on the lowest setting.) Slow roast at least 12 hours.
- Take out of oven, and mash with a potato masher, or use a food mill. The more you mash, the less chunky it is. We like ours rather chunky.
- Keep in jars in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or preserve by canning or freezing.
Slow-roasting applesauce is heaps easier than doing it on the stove. There is less of a watchful eye needed, less burning, and the apples break up easily at the end. Plus, I think it tastes better.