This Level 4: Puree Pie-Filling Applesauce is exactly what it sounds like – a pie filling that’s blended and turned into a smooth applesauce. We’re hoping it’s going to help you love applesauce again!
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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!
Level 4: Puree / Extremely Thick
Level 4: Puree / Extremely Thick is appropriate for individuals who have reduced ability to chew or manipulate food in the mouth. Pureed foods must not be sticky and must not have any lumps at all. At this texture, you cannot drink the food through a straw or with a cup because it is too thick. The food may move if you tip the plate or bowl, but cannot be poured.
Foods at this level must fall off a spoon when tilted or flicked lightly, but must not drip through the tines of a fork. We recommend watching IDDSI’s Youtube video of the Spoon Tilt Test before you cook as well as during the testing of your final modified portion.
Always test your food before serving to ensure that it meets all the IDDSI testing guidelines.
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Level 4: Puree Pie-Filling Applesauce
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 large granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
- ½ cup brown sugar
- Juice from ½ lemon
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup 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.