One of my favorite bloggers, Josie of Pink Parsley Catering, blogged a homemade applesauce a little while back that stopped me dead in my tracks. Once I recovered, I headed straight to the kitchen. The Foodie Baby, boy, was she in for a treat!
I temporarily retired last fall, so I had “plenty” (ha!) of time to make our daughter’s baby food. Early on, I’d block out several hours on a weekend to cook and freeze loads of food. Now that she’s older, I don’t have to put quite that much effort into things.
Applesauce is one of her favorites. It’s super, super easy to make – if you don’t count peeling the apples. My veggie peeler didn’t make the move with the rest of us so I have to use a pairing knife. And every time I finish peeling the last apple, I look down in amazement that I still have all my fingers. Truly a miracle.
I’ve been making two variations for The Foodie Baby (and me), both containing cranberries. Both sauces are excellent slathered on a slice of crusty bread with melty brie, so for Thanksgiving, I’m making brie en croute with the Orange Cran-Apple Sauce. Can’t wait!
Vanilla Bean Cranberry-Apple Sauce and Orange Cranberry-Apple Sauce
Two versions of homemade cranberry-apple sauce: Vanilla Bean and Orange. Perfect as a baby food and big people snack.
- 2 1/2 lbs apples (Jonagold and Honeycrisp are my favorites), cored, peeled and cut into 1/8ths
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1-2 Tbsp sugar, to taste
- 1/2 cup Simply Apple juice (or 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)*
- Place all ingredients except sugar in a medium sauce pan and cook covered for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and the cranberries have burst.
- Add sugar to taste, if necessary
- Let cool and store covered in the fridge. *Use the vanilla bean paste or the scrapings of 1 whole vanilla bean in the apple version, eliminate it in the orange version.
Yields: ~3 cups
Estimated time: 1 hour