Never made applesauce? Try it. It’s so simple, even my friend Karen can do it.*
Cut up some apples. Peel them if you think someone might find bits of peel yucky. How many apples? Doesn’t matter. In my experience, 8 apples makes enough applesauce to fill the bigger jar you would buy at the grocery store. (Not the HUGE jar, but the bigger than small jar. About a quart.)
Throw apple pieces in a pot big enough to hold them and have enough space left on top that you won’t need to freak out if some bubbling up occurs.
Add some sugar. Really doesn’t matter how much. You’re going to taste it in a while to see if you like it, so you can go light here. Or you can skip it altogether. Unsweetened applesauce is good.
If you’re concerned about burning/have a lightweight pan/don’t really want to pay a heck of a lot of attention, add a splash of water. I never bother.
Turn heat on medium. In a few minutes, liquid will start to come out of the apples. The sugar will start to melt. Give them an encouraging stir.
After a few more minutes, give another stir and make some observations: Is anything sticking to the bottom of the pot? If so, turn down the heat a bit. Is the sugar melting? Are the apples changing at all? Good, it’s working!
Let it do its thing for 5 minutes or so. Come back for a stir and a peek. Is it boiling a bit? Not sticking? Apples starting to look a bit translucent? Yay!
Let it do its thing for another 5 minutes or so. Stir. Are the apples translucent and pretty squishy? You’re almost done.
Grab a spoon, scoop out some apple, let it cool a bit, then taste. Does it need sugar? Cinnamon? Add whatever you’d like and let it cook for a minute or two.
You’re done cooking now, and it’s decision time: chunky or smooth?
For chunky applesauce, you can eat it as is or smash it a bit with a fork or potato masher.
For smooth applesauce, like what you’d buy in a store, give it a whirl in a blender or with an immersion blender.
(If you’ve never put hot food in a blender before, know this: BE CAREFUL. If your blender does not have a vent on its lid, steam will build up in the container and cause a high pressure situation. You can get around this by filling the container only halfway and pausing every few seconds to open the lid to allow steam to escape. Or you can avoid it altogether by letting your apples cool completely before blending. I am not that patient and enjoy hot applesauce, which is how I know that high pressure plus hot food can equal painful consequences.)
*That’s what Karen says. I know Karen can do anything.