As May approaches... and the end of Sugarpalooza! is on the horizon... and my priorities shift from personal overindulgence to nurturing my newly expanded family...
Our sugar consumption is evolving.
Less of the white stuff. More fruit. Like citrus, as its season wraps up. And berries and melons. (Soon. Hopefully. Please, God, have mercy on us and send us some seasonable weather.) And apples. In the form of sauce. Because my toddler still has only seven teeth and likes to stuff her face in a way that probably (but falsely!) suggests to strangers that we starve her. A bad, health-hazardous combo when raw apples are involved. (She could choke. I could have a heart attack for fear of said choking. It's a lose-lose.)
Applesauce isn't especially glamorous or novel, I realize. But this applesauce is something else. It's not like the kind you buy at the store when you're too lazy to make proper food for your child. It's not the super simple kind that you get alongside potato pancakes at IHOP (although it would go nicely with some potato pancakes).
No indeed. This stuff is lovely. It's roasted. It's honeyed. It's slightly spiced and tartened up a tad with lemon juice and zest. Yes. Lovely. And if you use a red- or pink-tinted type of apple and don't remove the peel, it's quite pretty as well.
Applesauce. Not just for toddlers.
But toddlers sure like it. Especially when the serving spoon is within reach.
(This was especially tasty alongside some breakfast sausage links, FYI.)
Adapted a lot from Vegan with a Vengeance
Yield: 2-3 cups
1.5-2 lbs apples (5-6 medium apples) (I used Purity apples that were v. Gala-like)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon mild flavored oil or melted butter (I use grapeseed oil)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of allspice or nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash apples, peel them if you are so inclined (I won't judge you), cut them into 1" pieces, and place them in a 9" square baking dish or something comparably sized. Sprinkle them with lemon juice.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the oil or butter, honey, and remaining ingredients. Drizzle mixture over apples and toss to coat.
Roast until the apples are pretty tender, 20-25 minutes, turning the pan around after about 12 minutes. Once they are done roasting, either mash the apples in a large bowl or pulse them a few times in a blender or food processor. (I carefully used an immersion blender and that allowed me to have the most control over the consistency. I like it mostly blended but with a few token chunks.) Can be served warm or chilled. (I prefer the latter. Especially with sausage.) Stores in refrigerator in an airtight container for 5-7 days.