Vanilla Applesauce

If you go apple picking this fall, there's nothing better than turning some of your haul into this amazing homemade applesauce. The easy recipe makes the most of the fruit's fresh, crisp flavor, and your junior chef can help.

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 (1/2-cup) servings

Ingredients

    2 pounds apples
    1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/2 cup water

Directions

  1. Wash, peel, and core the apples. Cut each apple into quarters; cut each quarter in half. Let your child put the apples in a pot.
  2. Into the same pot, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean with the tip of a knife, then toss the pod in too (or add the vanilla extract). Stir in the other ingredients and cover.
  3. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are softened, about 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod. If you prefer a smoother sauce, mash the apples lightly with a potato masher. (Save the pod for vanilla sugar — rinse it, dry it with a paper towel, and put it in a cup of sugar in a sealed container. Store in the refrigerator.)

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