Super Rich Roasted Applesauce

Super Rich Roasted Applesauce

I am in love with this applesauce! It is one of the staples I always have in the freezer. This applesauce is made with only apples. No sugar, no honey, or any other ingredients. And yet its flavor is so rich, aromatic, and beautifully sweet. There is nothing better than enjoying the fullest flavor and sweetness of the apple simply on its own. I discovered that this can happen when you roast the apple instead of cooking raw apples in the pot. 


Magic of roasting

Roasting in the oven is a magical way. The flavor of the ingredients becomes much more concentrated and enriched. It’s quite amazing how much it changes! For instance, you can experience it by:

  • Roasting tomato sauce (recipe here)
  • Roasting winter squash
  • Roasting root vegetables

Have you ever made butternut squash soup by roasting the squash? It is quite different in flavor compared to when you cook the raw squash in the pot. When it’s roasted, you can make a very rich and creamy soup. When cooked with the raw squash, it becomes quite light and gentle.


The power of roasting the apples

This goes the same with the apples. A few years ago, when I made apple crisp, I clearly realized how the flavor of the apples get more condensed and sweeter, and how this could be applied to making applesauce. Ever since, I always make my applesauce by roasting the apples. It is a little extra work than just cooking the peeled apples into the pot, but it is absolutely worth it! It makes us sigh when we eat it.


Roasting vs Baking

By the way, this is what I learned while writing this article. I wondered whether my applesauce should be called roasted or baked applesauce. As we all know about baked apple—a delicious dessert made simply by baking apples—I imagined it should be called “baked applesauce.” But through searching online the difference between baking and roasting, I learned that when you heat with the temperature that is from 400°F and up, you call it roasting, whereas baking is with the temperatures of around 375°F and below. This confirmed me that my applesauce is “roasted applesauce,” since I use the temperature of 400°F. (Read about it here)


Take out the core before roasting

To make the roasted applesauce, you can put the whole apple into the oven and roast it. But I prefer to take out the core first in order to minimize the work after roasting. If you have an apple corer, you can certainly use it. But since I don’t have one, I cut the apple into half, then take out the core with a small knife. It works absolutely fine.


Peel after roasting

I don’t peel the apples before roasting, so that the moisture of the apple won’t evaporate too much. After roasting, I wait until the apples cool down to warm temperature, then peel them with my hands. This is the process that takes probably the most time and work. But you get rewarded! The peeled, roasted apple skin is quite delicious!

For cooling down, I transfer the roasted apples and their juice which was on the baking pan into a bowl, put the lid on, and let it sit. I do this extra process so that the juice won’t get dried.


Puréeing

If you are using the hand-held mixer or food mill, you can go ahead and purée the apples while they are still warm. But since I use my Vitamix blender, with the plastic container, I let the peeled apples sit until they cool down to room temperature.


Heat in the pot at the end

By peeling the skin with your hands as well as blending the apples in the blender, it is difficult to keep this sauce free from germs. After puréeing I usually heat up the apple sauce in a pot and let it boil for at least a couple of minutes. In this way, the germs get killed and you can store it well in sterilized jars. If the sauce is too thick, I would also add some water there and cook together.


Storing

I store the applesauce in the freezer. In this way, I can reduce the process of canning. Also I can be sure that the sauce won’t go bad. Since I won’t make an extra large amount, it won’t fill my freezer too much, either.

Since the sauce doesn’t have any other sugar content except from the apples themselves, it is definitely easy to get moldy compared to other store bought jams made with large amounts of sugar. Still, after taking it out from the freezer and opening the jar, this sauce can stay safely in the fridge for several weeks.

If you wish to do the canning process, I believe you can store this sauce for a long time, especially when you do the cooking after puréeing!


The usage of apple sauce

Needless to say, applesauce on my whole spelt sourdough bread is divinely delicious. For even more deliciousness, we love spreading the bread with coconut oil and homemade peanut butter, and put the applesauce on top. It is irresistible.

Sometimes, I mix my applesauce with some cinnamon at the end. This will add a beautiful and spicy aroma to the sauce.

I use the applesauce quite often in my vegan baking, too. It is quite well known that applesauce can substitute for oil. But in my experience, it can also substitute for eggs wonderfully. For example, after years of experimenting to develop the best recipe for strawberry shortcake, I arrived at a recipe that won’t use any flax meal for the egg substitute, but only using applesauce. This gives the cake a much smoother, moister, and finer texture.

Also, I sometimes make fruit jam combining with applesauce. For example, in the early summer season, I made blackberry jam combining apple sauce with the berries. In this way, I could minimize the usage of sugar (I needed to add a very little amount of coconut sugar), and the combination of the berries and apple was beautifully delicious.


Making Roasted Applesauce

  1. Have the jars sterilized. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Take out the core of the apples and put them on the baking pan. If you don’t have an apple corer, you can cut the apple into half and take the core out with a knife.
  3. Put the baking pan into the oven, and bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Use a cake tester and make sure that the apples are thoroughly baked. They should become quite soft when well baked.
  5. Once baked, take the baking pan out from the oven. Transfer the apples and juice into a bowl, put the lid on, and let sit until it becomes warm.
  6. Take the apples’ skin off with your hands while they are still warm, then wait until they cool down to room temperature. (If you are using a hand held mixer or food mill, you can go ahead and purée the apples while they are still warm.)
  7. (For blender users) Put the apples and juice into a blender and blend them until you get the desired texture.
  8. Transfer the sauce into a pot, add some water if you wish for the desired texture, and heat the pot to bring the sauce to a boil. Boil the sauce for at least a couple of minutes.
  9. Transfer the sauce into jars while it’s hot.

 

Roasted Applesauce

November 5, 2021
: Approx. 750ml
: 2 hr

By:

Ingredients
  • 2lb. Apples
Directions
  • Step 1 Have the jars sterilized. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Step 2 Take out the core of the apples and put them on the baking pan. If you don’t have an apple corer, you can cut the apple into half and take the core out with a knife.
  • Step 3 Put the baking pan into the oven, and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Step 4 Use a cake tester and make sure that the apples are thoroughly baked. They should become quite soft when well baked.
  • Step 5 Once baked, take the baking pan out from the oven. Transfer the apples and juice into a bowl, put the lid on, and let sit until it becomes warm.
  • Step 6 Take the apples’ skin off with your hands while they are still warm, then wait until they cool down to room temperature. (If you are using a hand held mixer or food mill, you can go ahead and purée the apples while they are still warm.)
  • Step 7 (For blender users) Put the apples and juice into a blender and blend them until you get the desired texture.
  • Step 8 Transfer the sauce into a pot, add some water if you wish for the desired texture, and heat the pot to bring the sauce to a boil. Boil the sauce for at least a couple of minutes.
  • Step 9 Transfer the sauce into jars while it’s hot.


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