When I came to Jackson Hole to visit the family I was greeted with arms full of hugs and stories that were patiently waiting to be told by my (oh-so-precious) nephews. Could you ask for a better welcome? I've entered my heaven.
As the laughter rolled on and the bellies began to fill with the beautiful home cooking my sister made, I noticed an (extra) large box of apples yet to be eaten. And let's be real, her family wasn't going to get through them. I would love to imagine the kids chomping on apples all day, but unless they were coated in chocolate and caramel I have a feeling my nephews wouldn't be getting anywhere near them. Because, you know, "fruits and vegetables are gross auntie Em".
This recipe MIGHT just change that. When you've found yourself with a bucket of apples from the orchard (or local fundraising in her case) there are plenty of ways to use them before they go bad. This just happens to be my favorite. It's a recipe from the lovely Cara of SheDontCara (if you don't know about her, now you do. Commence the stalking. She's a beauty.) After making it once, I was hooked. And with the cold Jackson Hole weather, it's a perfect addition to a morning routine - fresh off the stove. That's a warm and fuzzy feeling if I've ever felt one before.
Cherry Vanilla Applesauce with no sugar added (because you seriously don't need it!)
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 14 ripe firm apples (about five pounds), such as Gala, peeled, cored, and quartered
- *I use a handy dandy apple gadget that cores, peels and slices apples in seconds. I highly suggest investing in one even if you make one apple pie or batch of applesauce in your lifetime.
- Handy dandy apple gadget here.
- ¾ cup Frozen Cherries
- 1 cup water or apple cider, plus more as needed
- 1 level Tbsp. ground cinnamon (or your desired amount if you aren’t into cinnamon)
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (like a pinch)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (½ lemon)
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
WHAT YOU DO:
Combine all ingredients in a wide, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon and adding more water/cider as needed to prevent scorching, until apples have broken down, 50 to 60 minutes. Mash any large pieces with the spoon. Add more spices, as desired and you can always add sugar if you feel you must.
Remove from heat; discard cinnamon stick (if used) and vanilla pod. Serve warm or at room temperature.
It’s easy, healthy and delicious. You can't go wrong my friends.