The flavour is really amazing, and the recipe only requires a few simple ingredients. I use it for a variety of items - baking cakes, muffins, serve it as a jam spread, add it to breakfast oats...the possibilities for using applesauce is really endless. And the added bonus is that one don't have to stand over the stove and stir frequently to make applesauce. The only thing that needs to be done is to halve and core the apples, and let the oven do the rest of the job, adding the seasonings and mashing them when the apples are soft. So easy!
I've also previously made these muffins before, and these are really quite healthy muffins to have for breakfast as they have lots of packed nutrients in them (not counting the butter...). Do note that goji berries burn easily, so I made sure that none were peeking out from the top of the batter before I placed them in the oven to bake.
Baked Applesauce (adapted from Patrice at Circle B Kitchen)
(makes about 2 cups - amount may vary, depending on the size of apples used)
4 apples (mixed)
1 tbsp brown or cane sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (adjust to taste)
Preheat oven to 195C.
Wash and halve the apples. Core them (I used an ice cream scoop!). With their skins still on, place them cut side down on a baking tray lined with a long piece of foil (twice the length of baking tray).
Fold the foil over the apples and make a secure bundle. Bake in oven for 45 min to 1 hour.
Remove from oven, use a fork to test for doneness, apples are ready when they are soft when pierced with fork.
Using a spoon, scrape the apple bits from the skins onto the foil. Discard the skins. Add sugar, salt and cinnamon to taste. Mash the apple bits with a fork and mix in the seasonings thoroughly. Cool and store in jars.
Applesauce muffins (adapted from Epicurious)
(makes 9 muffins)
85g plain flour
80g oat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp flaxseed meal
1/4 tsp salt
150g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
150g unsalted butter, browned
1 cup applesauce (recipe above)
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup goji berries
Combine the dry ingredients (plain flour till salt) in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
Whisk eggs, vanilla and sugar till combined. Add browned butter, a little at a time, whisking until mixture is creamy. Stir in applesauce, then fold in dry ingredients mixture until flour is just moistened. Stir in nuts, goji berries and oats and divide batter among muffin cups (about 3/4 full).
Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 20 minutes at 200C.
Cool and serve with additional applesauce.