Fall is finally here, and it feels like such a gift after the hot summer we’ve had. I’ve been so excited to ring in my favorite season, that I had to rush out to the local farm stand last weekend to grab some early apples for applesauce and homemade cinnamon apple chips.
It turns out, the heat has been hard on our early apple crop this year and there were only a couple of rough-looking bags of seconds. Horrors! Fortunately, the same cruel heat that stole my apples provided a bumper crop of peaches, so I decided to experiment – and was so thankful I had!
This peach applesauce has the loveliest soft peach flavor with hints of smooth late summer apple tang. Like our lavender lemonade and quick pickles, it has become a new seasonal classic (and Thanksgiving request!) in our household and I swear, once you try it, it will be your new favorite too! So grab a bag of apple seconds, some lovely ripe peaches, and celebrate the coming of fall with this tasty treat!
Peach Applesauce Ingredients:
Yields: Roughly 8 pints of applesauce
- 5 pounds cooking apples, peeled and sliced (Jonagold, Zestar, Cortland, etc…)
- 2- 2 1/2 pounds peaches, peeled and sliced
- 3 tablespoons lemon or orange juice
- 1 cup apple juice (add more liquid as needed)
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
- A few pieces of apple peel for coloring if desired
- Oats, dried cherries/fruits, or extra fresh peaches for topping
*A quick note on sugar: I don’t like to add sugar beyond the natural apple juice, but if you like your applesauce sweeter, you can either use a sweeter apple or try adding 1/4 cup brown sugar*
The beauty of applesauce, is that the apples don’t have to be the absolute best to give you a fantastic result. I almost always use seconds if you can get them at your local orchard, farm stand, market or grocery store. Its okay if they’re a bit bruised, early, late, or have been sitting in the heat a bit too long and are past their eating prime. The peaches are best ripe, at the peak of their flavor.
DIY Peach Applesauce Instructions:
- Prep the apples
The first step is to clean, peel and slice all of the apples. You can do this all with a hand peeler, but for anyone who plans on making large quantities, I totally recommend the table peeler pictured below. The most similar one to ours is here, but you can find them all over. For countless years it has worked liked a dream to peel, core and slice all at the same time.
- Clean, peel and slice your peaches
Follow the same process for your peaches. If your peaches are fairly ripe, you can cut them into fairly large pieces (most of ours were quarters).
- Combine all ingredients in a crockpot or dutch oven
Throw the sliced peaches and apples in a crockpot, add the juices, cinnamon, and a couple of apple peels for color if you’d like (this turns a soft golden color without them, so I didn’t find it necessary). Simmer over high heat or leave on the high setting for about 4 hours. If you’d prefer to bake your applesauce, follow the directions here, courtesy of Ina Garten!
I like to gussy my sauce up with some oats, dried cherries, whole diced peaches, apple peel, chopped walnuts and (of course) a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. OR, for my fellow oatmeal fanatics, try mixing some into your hot AM oatmeal. I can’t think of anything better on a chilly fall morning!
Now, how beautiful (and easy) is that?!? PS – parents/caretakers/friends of toddlers – you can make your own applesauce bites (just like the Gerber puffs!) out of this by lining a cookie sheet with wax paper, spooning little dabs of the applesauce onto it, and freezing it overnight! The perfect simple, homemade food for baby and a healthy seasonal option for kids.
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