I like Chinese 5 spice powder in this applesauce recipe because the depth of flavor is much more interesting than straight cinnamon. But both variation are great.
makes about 6 cups
- 4 pound apples
- 3 cup unfiltered apple cider
- ¼ cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chinese 5 spice powder
Peel 4 pounds of apples, then core and quarter each one. You may hold them in some slightly acidulated water to keep them from getting brown (oxidation) if you like. But it is not necessary. In the end it will make no difference.
Once ready to start add the apples along with 3 cups of unfiltered apple cider to a large stockpot. Bring this to a boil, then cover the pot and lower the heat to a simmer.
Let this cook about 15 minutes, and then add ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 tablespoon of Chinese 5 spice powder. Straight cinnamon is also a good option. But I like the depth of the flavor in Chinese 5 spice powder.
Cook the spice into the mixture another 8 or 10 minutes. The apples should become rather soft and begin to break apart. Most of the liquid will have evaporated as well.
Get two large mixing bowls and divide the apple mixture evenly between each bowl. Let the mixture cool somewhat before proceeding.
Using an immersion blender, puree the contents of one bowl until quite smooth.
Moving to the other bowl of apples, using a large fork or the back of a wooden spoon, break these apples into chunks. Use your judgment about just how chunky you think they should be.
Pour the contents of one bowl into the other and mix well. Taste for sugar and spice and adjust as needed.
Store in an airtight container for as long as 5 days.