Applesauce with red hots (1963) ★★★

On the recommendation of a reader, I decided to try out this recipe for applesauce with an interesting addition - red hots/imperials/cinnamon hearts! The combination of apples and cinnamon hearts seems to hold a soft spot in many people's hearts and memories, so I was keen to give it a go.

Original Recipe:

The Verdict:

For my "tart apples" I used crispins. I was planning on using granny smiths, but couldn't find any. Although I've just noticed the apple in the picture is red...whatever.
I started cooking my apples in a pot, but found that they weren't cooking evenly, so transferred them to a frypan. I also needed a bit of extra water.
I was frustrated that the recipe listed "bottle of red hots," which was completely unhelpful. I did a bit of quick googling but couldn't find much, except for an old bottle of cinnamon candy decorations being sold on Etsy, which seemed to have a weight of 1.5 ounces. So I decided to start with 1.5 oz and taste.

I thought this recipe was okay, but not amazing. The flavour was a bit blah, but I felt like more cinnamon hearts would have been overpowering. I think maybe using several varieties of apples and/or adding a bit of real cinnamon would improve the flavour. I can't deny that the vibrant red is very festive and fun though!

Modernized Recipe:

(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cook Book, found at Vintage Cookbooks & Crafts)

The original recipe is easy to follow. Cook apples to your desired consistency.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.