My kids absolutely love applesauce, but I rarely buy it because 1) I don't want any added sugar or preservatives when I serve my kids fruit, and 2) when you buy sugarless and preservative-free applesauce, it can get expensive. When you throw organic into the mix (which we try to do whenever possible), you'd think you were paying for oil from the Middle East! So a couple of weeks ago, I thought why not make it myself? And then when I got to the grocery store, I found that pears were on sale, and grabbed some of those in addition to the apples.
It turns out that making your own applesauce is insanely easy. And you can freeze it! I made a big batch and froze half of it in a freezer Ball jar. Next time, I'll have to make much more because both jars that I made disappeared in just a week! Also, I think it would be much, much cheaper to make if you buy your apples and make it in the fall--better yet, take your kids out apple picking, and they'll do half the work for you!
Cinnamon Apple-Pear Sauce
Makes 4 cups
Cook's Notes: This can be scaled up or down to your preference. I liked the ratio of two apples to one pear, but feel free to experiment!
6 large apples, peeled and roughly chopped
3 large pears, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Place all of the ingredients in a pot. Heat over medium heat until the juices release and start bubbling. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the pears and apples are soft.
Using a hand blender or a tabletop blender/food processor (in small batches), blend until smooth. Let cool and either refrigerate or freeze, depending on when you'll use it. It should last about a week in the refrigerator, but several months in the freezer.
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