I know what you’re thinking – you’ve had entirely too much applesauce on your puree dysphagia diet. This is completely understandable. I’ve had patients come in and refuse to even eat applesauce during a dysphagia evaluation because they are so burnt out on it. I’m asking you to give this recipe a chance.
Pretend it’s Fall and you’re whipping up a homemade apple pie to take to a family gathering (pre COVID family gatherings). You spend time peeling the apples, you chop them into small pieces, and slowly cook them on the stove with brown sugar and spices. That’s exactly what I did here. I actually made this filling to put in a pie for a socially distanced outdoor Halloween gathering. I pureed some of it for a picture and to test the recipe and it was delicious. The pie turned out great too. 🙂
Whenever my mom made pies, she used tapioca to thicken the filling. I often do that, but tapioca has been difficult to find in the stores lately. I’ve started to rely on flour or cornstarch for thickening. In this recipe, I mixed the flour and sugar to prevent the flour from clumping. It really helps! This is a trick that my grandma always used when cooking, and it’s a lifesaver. The concern with using flour is that it won’t cook all the way through and it will have a ‘raw flour’ taste. Hopefully this will remedy that problem.
To ensure a smooth puree, be sure you peel the apples well. Fruit skins are thin and sometimes hard to blend into that smooth consistency you’re looking for. Also, make sure you cook the apples long enough. You really are looking for that caramel color and texture. Your apples will need to be soft enough to break apart into a soft puree.
As always, add more sugar or acidity (lemon juice) to taste. If you like things overly sweet, I would suggest adding more brown sugar to the recipe. If you love the taste of fall, up your amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. You could even add a dash of allspice. Finally, if you wanted to give it the quality of eating apple pie with ice cream, mix in a little heavy cream at the end!
When testing a puree, make sure you use the spoon tilt test. If you’re new to making purees and you’re a little uncertain about the process, you can find a more detailed description here.
I hope you love this recipe, and it helps you feel better about eating applesauce again. This recipe is definitely better than the applesauce that comes in a package!
Leave a comment for us below with your results!
Pie Filling Applesauce
- immersion blender
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 5 large granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
- ½ c brown sugar
- Juice from ½ lemon
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ⅓ c granulated sugar
- ⅓ c all purpose flour
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add sliced apples and cook until slightly softened, ~5 minutes.
- Add brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Mix granulated sugar and all purpose flour in a small bowl. This will help the flour from clumping in the pot.
- Add flour and sugar mixture to the apples, cook for 6-7 minutes. Juice from apples will become a caramel like consistency.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the apples into a smooth, lump-free consistency.