It’s fresh fruit season! Our apple tree is full of fruit and apples are dropping all over our yard. So naturally it’s applesauce time! I realize that usually apples are an autumn crop but somehow ours are ripe now.
My grandma made the best applesauce –kinda chunky yet tender and very flavorful. Her secret was use mainly white wine, lemon juice, cinnamon and a very little water, if any. And yes, sugar. It was always a special treat. And now there’s a way to make Gran’s applesauce without sugar or weird tasting substitutes.
One legitimate lament of diabetics and other carb conscious folks is the lack of sweets and desserts in the diet. One solution I’ve found is making desserts with fruit and using a sugar substitute called Xylitol to add sweet flavor with limited carbs; (the label states that it is “75% fewer carbs than sugar” with “40% fewer calories”). There are 4 gms of carbs per tsp. and 10 calories. (Note: I have no relationship with any Xylitol manufacturers or distributors.)
I use it sparingly in any case, but it definitely makes desserts such as this tasty cinnamon applesauce very satisfying without sacrificing flavor. It’s also easy to make (and smells divine while cooking). I’m sure it will become a staple in your household as it is in mine!
I also make a delicious fresh plum jam using Xylitol and no sugar; recipe to come.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)
- 2-3 lbs. fresh apples (best from a tree or farmer’s market)
- 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup white wine (I like to use any Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough area of New Zealand); you may add more if the apples are too dry.
- 1/3 cup Xylitol
- 1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4-1/3 cup water as desired or needed
- 1/2 cup blueberries (optional; you can add blueberries if you like–I like it “straight” best but sometimes add them for a variation, especially if there are an abundance at the local farmer’s market.)
- Rinse, peel and chop the apples; you can leave some skin on; chop roughly into about 1″ pieces.
- Add apple pieces into a large cast iron or dutch oven, on the stovetop with medium high heat.
- Add white wine and Xylitol, and cinnamon stick.
- Stir constantly, until the apples are bubbling.
- Cover and turn down the heat to low, and cook for approximately 1/2 hr., stirring every so often, until the apples are tender. Add additional liquid in small amounts as needed (apples should be moist).
- Add lemon juice and ground cinnamon to taste.