The first time Gina Kapaun was invited to share a holiday with boyfriend Doug Wilson and his family, she asked what she could bring. Applesauce, someone suggested.

"I was so nervous that I went online and looked at a lot of recipes. I made three batches and combined them," she said.

The recipe was such a hit at the Rosh Hashanah get-together that Kapaun, 23, of St. Paul, is always asked to prepare a batch for holiday gatherings. She and Wilson are now engaged.

The secret to the recipe: fresh, crisp apples. "I prefer Haralsons," Kapaun said. "I've tried Pink Lady and Galas, but they didn't work as well."

Kapaun likes the recipe because it's easy. Because she runs the cooked apples through a food mill, they don't have to be peeled or even seeded. "Just toss it all in. I think the peel is what gives it that good, apple-y taste," she said.


Gina's Holiday Applesauce √

Serves 8 to 10.

Note: If you don't have a food mill, you will need to peel, core and seed the apples. From Gina Kapaun of St. Paul.

4 to 4 1/2 lb. apples, preferably Haralson (see Note)

1 to 2 tbsp. sugar (honey can be substituted)

3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

• About 1/8 c. water

• Cinnamon, optional


Remove the stems from the apples and chop into equal chunks.

Combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice and a splash of water (about 1/8 cup) in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover as soon as it boils, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until apples are soft, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on type of apple.

Uncover and continue to cook until liquid is gone, stirring occasionally so the apples do not burn, from 20 to 45 minutes, again depending on type of apple. Once liquid is gone, immediately process the apples through a food mill.

At this point you can taste and see if it needs more sugar or lemon juice. If you like cinnamon, add a little at this time.

Keep applesauce refrigerated in an airtight container. It's best when served warm.

Nutrition information per each of 10 servings:

Calories 91 Fat 0 g

Sodium 2 mg Sat. fat 0 g

Carbs 24 g Calcium 10 mg

Protein 0 g Chol 0 mg

Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1½ fruit.