I hated applesauce as a kid. (I realize how many blog posts I begin by mentioning a food I hated as a kid. I do it to reassure you, and myself, that picky children often become enthusiastic cooks and eaters. So hang in there if you're feeding the seemingly impossible.)
I hated its grainy, watery texture. I hated its unappetizing pinky-grey color.
I hated that it didn't taste like apple pie, which I loved.
And then I made homemade applesauce and like many things homemade, it blew my mind a little bit. Smooth and almost creamy, thick and not-too sweet, scented with cinnamon and tasting fully of apples. Like apple pie, in fact, warm and comforting. Yes.
It's the only applesauce I'll eat. Bonus: It's one of my son's favorite foods, especially alongside pork (in particular, no-fail barbecued ribs, tonight's din).
I feel like I'm cheating calling this a recipe, since it's nothing but apples, a splash of water, and cinnamon.
So I'll give you this rough outline, and then say this: Make some immediately.
Makes several cups
About 20 apples (I picked up two bags at the farmers market, one of Cortlands, one of Honey Crisps)
1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
Sugar (maybe, but you likely won't need it)
Peel, core, and slice apples, tossing them into a stock pot or Dutch oven as you go. When all the apples are sliced, add water and cinnamon to pan and cover. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, and stir occasionally, recovering, until apples break down into a thick sauce, about 20 minutes. Taste applesauce and add 1-2 Tbsp. of sugar if needed (I didn't need to add sugar, but it does depend on 1) how sweet you like your applesauce, and 2) how sweet the apples are that you're using). When the apples are dissolved, continue simmering over low heat, half-covered, sitrring occasionally, until sauce is quite thick, about 20-30 minutes. Serve warm or cool. Store remaining applesauce in the refrigerator for up to one week.