Vanilla Blush Applesauce

5 pounds apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 vanilla bean

Prepare canning jars by sterilizing according to manufacturer’s directions. Set aside.

Place apples in a large nonaluminum cooking pot. Stir in cider and lemon juice. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into apple mixture. Place bean shells in pot with apples. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender and falling apart. Uncover and cool 10 minutes. Remove vanilla bean shells. Puree apple mixture with an immersion blender until smooth.

Ladle applesauce into prepared jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims and apply lids and rings. Process jars in a boiling-water bath for 20 minutes. Remove jars from canning pot and set aside to cool to room temperature. Jars will “ping,” which indicates that lids are sealed. The center of each lid will not flex up and down when pressed.

Ideal Apples: Mix and match McIntosh, Cortland, Fuji, Braeburn, or Rome to achieve an interesting, complex flavor.
Recipes and photo provided by Apples: 50 Tried & True Recipes by Julia Rutland