Roasted Chunky Applesauce
Makes 3-4 cups
For all ingredients, please consider using those that are grown organically.
7-8 assorted varieties of apples, fuji, honeycrisp, granny smith, or gala
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup maple syrup, preferably grade B
1 cup purified water
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Peel the apples and cut them into symmetrical halves. Use a serrated melon baller or scoop to remove the cores, stems, and blossoms.
Cut the cleaned apples into chunks about 1/2 inch in size. There is no need for the pieces to be exactly the same size. Put them into a pan or baking dish.
Top the prepared apples with the lemon zest and juice, cinnamon sticks, star anise, maple syrup, and ground cinnamon. Use your hands to toss and combine the ingredients.
Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and roast for 45-60 minutes or until the apples are able to be mashed with a fork. Check the apples every 15-20 minutes. They should be browning on the top and caramelizing in the bottom of the dish. Toss them around with a wooden spoon to blend the flavors and redistribute the pieces. If they seem too dry and there is no longer liquid in the pan, add another 1/4-1/2 cup of water as needed.
When the apples are softened and cooked through, remove the pan from the oven. Allow the apples to cool for about 10 minutes and use a fork to mash a portion of them if desired. I like a chunky consistency. If you prefer a smoother or less chunky texture, mash a larger amount of the roasted apples or pulse them in a food processor fitted with the metal blade.
Allow the mixture to come to room temperature before serving or storing in the refrigerator. The applesauce will keep for about a week refrigerated.