Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Strawberry Applesauce

Jars filled with homemade, slightly chunky applesauce with flecks of warm cinnamon.  Now, my opinion, that is what fall is all about.  It's a snack that's so simple, delicious and one that takes me back to my childhood.
Applesauce is one of those recipes that's basic and so easy to make.  I have fond memories from my childhood making apple and pear sauce with both my MaMaw and Grandma.  Some of our fondest times were in the kitchen and I believe that's where part of my love and passion for cooking came from. 
I still love being in the kitchen and bringing smiles to people through food.  I believe Tucker is following in my footsteps, he loves to help whenever he can and I enjoy him being right by my side.  Another one of Tucker's loves, applesauce.  He has been a fan of apples for as long as I can remember.  From the time he could reach and grab he's been grasping for apples and nibbling a piece of one here and a piece of another there.  As he's gotten older his love for apples and anything involving apples has grown.  I believe he's probably one of the only kids that when he orders from Chic-fil-a prefers the grilled nuggets over the fried and applesauce over the fries. 
So when I decided to make a variation of traditional applesauce, it goes without saying that Tucker was ecstatic.  For this particular recipe I decided to incorporate two of his favorite foods; apples and strawberries.  This sauce comes together in no time and the end result is a slightly chunky, lightly sweet strawberry applesauce with a pretty pink hue.  If you've never made your own applesauce I would highly recommend it; it's incredibly simple and you're in control of the flavors, ingredients and even the texture.  This is a fun recipe that is great to get your kids and whole family involved in making.  Jars packed full of chunky applesauce would also make a perfect "welcome fall" gift for friends, family, neighbors, your kiddos classmates, and co-workers. 

Strawberry Applesauce
Yields about 2 1/2 Pints
Ingredients:

3 1/2 Pounds apples; cored, peeled and chopped (I used a mixture of Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Gala and Fuji)
2 Tbsp apple cider (water can be substituted)
1 Pound strawberries, hulled and cut in half
Juice from a lemon (I used a meyer lemon)
3 Tbsp sugar*

Directions:

Place jars and canning lids in a pot of simmering water and boil on high for about 5 minutes.  Remove to a towel lined surface and set aside.

Place apples and cider in a heave bottomed saucepan and place over medium-low heat.  Allow apples to cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Cooking time will depend on the type of apples. 

Meanwhile, place strawberries in a small saucepan over low heat and allow to simmer until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once the strawberries are tender, light mash and then press through a fine sieve (that is placed over a bowl) to remove most of the seeds.

Once the apples are tender transfer half of the mixture to a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Using a potato masher, mash the remaining apples until the most of the big chunks are removed.  Pour the pureed apples back into the saucepan along with the seeded strawberries.  Add sugar and lemon juice and return heat to medium-low.  Simmer the mixture until combined and slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.  Taste the sauce, add more sugar if necassary.

Place in sterilized jars and place lids on the jars.  Store in refrigerator and eat within 1-2 weeks.

To can them, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Carefully place the sealed jars in the water and boil for about 10 minutes.  Remove from water, carefully push the center of the lids to make sure they don't pop and allow to cool.  If the lids pop they are not sealed, return jars to boiling water and repeat process.

*The sweetness of the sauce will vary depending on the apples used.  Start with a small amount of sugar and adjust accordingly.

Recipe source: A Lynsey Original

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