At heart I am a lazy cook, which is why my favorite recipes have few ingredients.
Red hot applesauce is an old-fashioned dish that requires precisely three ingredients: apples, water, and cinnamon-flavored candies (known around here as red hots).
And since I am a lazy cook, I don’t like peeling apples. Out came this handy device, which peels, cores and slices apples into perfect little spiraled packages, ready for the pot. The gray-green metallic finish makes it look like it should also sharpen pencils or weigh letters for postage.
The cinnamon candies turn the apples an electric red color and pack a spicy cinnamon punch. The recipe calls for 9 ounces, which is about two-thirds of this 14-oz bag. You can save the leftover red hots for cookie decorating.
You can make the recipe as chunky or smooth as you’d like. The longer you cook it, the more the color and the flavor become intense and the more the texture becomes soft and smooth.
This simple recipe is a great one for kids. From turning the crank on the apple peeler to pouring in the red hots to stirring the pot, they can be involved at every step. And what kid wouldn’t like applesauce made with candy?