Now, there's no doubt about it that it's fall here in the northern hemisphere, and fall means apple season. Why not fire up the oven and get saucy?
While applesauce is a staple for vegan baking, it’s also a simple and delicious addition to many breakfasts: with yogurt and/or granola, on pancakes or waffles, or warm in a bowl on its own. Roasting the apple amps up the flavour – and gives your house an incredible smell in the making!
If you use just the peeled apples and water, the sauce will be simple and neutral enough to do anything with. Adding the lemon juice will brighten the flavour, make the sauce a little smoother, and likely help it keep longer in the fridge (ascorbic acid from the lemons being a preservative and all). Keeping the peels on makes the sauce more nutritious, but they won’t dissolve completely – it will be a tad bittier, though likely to blend in just fine if used in baking.
2 lb. apples (preferably 2 or more varieties, like pink lady, granny smith, spy)
juice of one lemon (¼ cup) (optional, see note above)
up to 1 tbsp cinnamon (optional)
½ cup warm filtered water
Preheat the oven to 350oF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Peel the apples if they’re conventionally grown, or if they’re organic you can choose to leave the skins on or not (see note above). Core them, and chop them into even-sized pieces (1/4-inch slices or 1-inch bits).
Toss them with the lemon juice and cinnamon (if using) in a large bowl.
*The photo above shows the various options: skin on (bottom), skin off (top 2), with lemon juice (top right), without (top left), with cinnamon (bottom again)*
Scatter them across the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.
Slide them in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes in all, rotating them and giving them a bit of a stir with a silicone spatula about halfway through.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes or so before scraping all the apples in your blender or food processor, and giving it a whirl just until no apple chunks remain. Alternately you could use a food mill if you have one. Store in a sealed container or glass jar in the fridge for about a week (maybe 2 weeks if you used lemon juice), or can them for up to a year of shelf stability.
Makes 2 2/3 cups.