Don't you feel special Chad? This post is just for You! I heard your applesauce turned brown. (Which I guess is better than red if you don't like monkey brains. And really in this crazy Zombie laden world, who doesn't?)
Anyhow...I happened across this recipe where the apples are roasted. The recipe comes from a blog called Southern Fried Curry and the photo on her site shows a more applesauce colored result.
Here is what my version looks like: See...no brown or red applesauce! Roasting the apples exposes them to a higher heat and less time for the apples to oxidize and brown. This time the applesauce looked the same color as the stuff in the jar.
Cooking the apples in the oven will give you a chunkier applesauce than it's crockpot cousin.
Normally, I'm not a fan of chunky applesauce, but this stuff was really tasty. I suppose if I was really ambitious I could have run it through a food mill. We all know I'm not ambitious, I'm lazy. Besides I don't have a food mill. Even if you think you don't like chunky applesauce give this recipe a try in it's chunky state. Chances are, if I like it, so will you.
The recipe is rather vague with measurements. I used 1 T lemon juice and 2 T white sugar along with 10 smallish apples (gala and Fuji). I did not add salt or 5 spice powder. After I took the picture I did add copious amounts of cinnamon, and it did turn light brown. However, I add the same amount of cinnamon to the jarred stuff and it turns the same color.
There is only one down side to this recipe. The house just doesn't get that same wonderful aroma as when it's made in the crockpot. It makes sense though. When you cook the apples in the crockpot they are in there with all their spicy friends, releasing all kinds of delicious smells in the heat.
Roasted Applesauce from Southern Fried Curry
Oil, for greasing pan
8 apples, halved and cored (keep skins on)
Sugar, or honey, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Dash of salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (Taste first before adding more. A little goes a long way.)
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a large sheet pan with a neutral-flavored oil. Halve lengthwise and core eight apples, leaving the skins intact. Arrange the apples cut side down on your baking sheet, and place the sheet on the rack in the center of your oven. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or long enough for the apples to start browning on the cut surface. (This is the delicious caramelization that you want.)
Remove apples from oven, and using an offset spatula remove them from the pan onto a plate to let them cool. Once apples have cooled, use a large spoon to scrape the apples out of their skins into a bowl. Mash the apples with a fork to desired texture. Add and mix in sugar or honey, lemon juice (usually just a generous squirt is needed), salt, and five-spice powder as desired. Or just be normal and add cinnamon – your sauce will fail to be anything but delicious. This sauce freezes well.