Fall is apple season, and what better to make with that crate of apples you got from your coworker than make applesauce?
For whatever reason, applesauce never took off in Japan, and it’s expensive to order online. A small jar of Treetop will run you 440 yen on the Foreign Buyers’ Club, and that’s not including shipping and cash-on-delivery fees (another ~800 yen). Making your own applesauce is surprisingly quick and easy: if you can chop an apple and boil water, you can make applesauce!
Time: 30 minutes
4-5 small apples, or 2-3 large apples (ringo, りんご）*
250 mL water
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste（shinamon, シナモン)
The amount of water and apples doesn’t need to be exact. You really only need enough water to cover about half the apples in the pot, so adjust accordingly.
1 large pot with a lid
1 potato masher or a sturdy fork (poteto mashaa, ポテトマッシャー)
Colander (mizu kiri bouru, 水切りボール)
1. Pour the water into a large pot.
2. Peel and core the apples. Cut into small pieces (1-2 cm chunks) and place in the water.
3. Put the pot on the stove and cover with a lid. Cook over medium heat (boiling is fine) until the apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat.
4. Empty into a colander, then place the drained apples in a bowl. Mash with a potato-masher or a fork until the applesauce reaches the desired consistency. For very smooth applesauce, you can run it through a blender, but I prefer mine a little chunky.
5. Add cinnamon (or any other spices you like) and stir well.
6. Let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. You can also freeze applesauce in a freezer bag or freezer-safe glass or plastic containers for up to a year. To thaw, just set in the refrigerator for a few days.
If you run the applesauce through a blender to make it smooth, you can use it to replace vegetable oil in baked goods like pancakes, muffins, and cakes. Use the same volume of applesauce as you would oil. (E.g. Replace 150 mL vegetable oil with 150 mL applesauce.)
Any variety is fine. I like to use softer apples for this. I bought a bag of 5 紅玉 (Koujoku), or Jonathan apples, for 198 yen to make the applesauce in the picture. Other varieties you could use are Fuji (富士、ふじ） or Jonagold （ジョナゴールド, jonagourudo), ; or any of your favorite soft, sweet apple varieties. You can also mix different types of apples, too.
Leah Zoller is a second-year CIR in Anamizu and the editor of this blog. She will never go applesauce-less again.