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I finally splurged on a foam black poster board, y'all.

As a girl with a baking blog, yes, I do have a bit of a sweet tooth. It’s usually pretty subtle, though. I’m never into the overly-sweet stuff and get cranky about sugary “coffee” drinks. I don’t really eat sweets on a regular basis either, but when I do, they’re all I want.

This recently occurred while spending a week at my folks’ house. My dad kept the freezer stocked with Ben & Jerry’s, and if there’s one thing I can’t resist, it’s ice cream. After I got back to Austin, I was faced with my ice cream-less freezer and a fierce sugar craving. This was when I decided to become the last person on the planet to make applesauce.

compost offering

Looking up recipes for applesauce is kind of like looking up recipes for mashed potatoes: you don’t really need one. But since this was new territory, I checked anyway. My main requirement was something unsweetened. When you eat an apple, do you sprinkle it with sugar? (Please say no.) Why would you need to sweeten applesauce?

cinnamonkey!

Also, I am a self-confessed cinnamon snob. But really, if you go into a grocery store with a bulk spice section, smell the regular cinnamon, then smell the Vietnamese/Saigon cinnamon. So naturally I bought Vietnamese cinnamon chips instead of a cinnamon stick for…applesauce. Weirdo. If you do this, put them in a tea ball (or whatever shape you have, like the monkey pictured above) to avoid fishing out shards of cinnamon bark. Thankfully I thought this through before learning the hard way.

Sauce!

Naturally Sweet Cinnamon Applesauce
adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Epicurious

Some people peel their apples, some don’t. I did here. Also, this made about 6 cups.

8 apples (a mix is good)
1 cup water
juice from a lemon
1 cinnamon stick (3-inch), a tea ball of Vietnamese cinnamon chips, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Peel (or don’t) and core the apples, then cut into chunks. In a large pot, combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook the apples for about 30 minutes or until soft enough to be easily pierced by a fork. Remove the cinnamon stick/chips, if used. Pulverize the cooked apples with your preferred/best available method: potato masher, food mill, food processor, blender, immersion blender (what I used), etc.

Try some while it’s warm because whoa. Store the rest in the fridge or freeze it.

This did seem to help curb my sugar enthusiasm, but then Halloween came and we had ZERO trick-or-treaters. So, you know…

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