3–4 Braeburn apples*
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon of apple pie spice (I used Penzeys. If you don’t have this, use approximately 1/8 teaspoon of both nutmeg and cloves, and add an extra 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup “no sugar added” apple sauce
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (bottled orange juice will be too sour)
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a small bowl, combine softened butter, cinnamon, apple pie spice, salt, and applesauce. Mash together with a soft silicone spatula until mixed thoroughly. Set aside.
Core the apples and slice them into very thin slices.
Line the bottom of a small, shallow baking dish with a single layer of apples. Spread a small amount of the butter mixture over each slice. Add another layer of apples to cover up any open spots. Spread a small amount of butter over those newer slices. Drizzle 1 tablespoon orange juice over the apples and lightly sprinkle with cinnamon.
Repeat layers until you’ve used up all your apples or filled your dish to the top. (You’ll be using the orange juice and extra cinnamon on every other layer of apple slices.)
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until apples are fork tender. Take out of oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
*Braeburn apples are used because they are sweet and tart and have a lot of flavor, which is very important since we’re not adding sugar to this recipe. If you can’t find Braeburn, try Fuji or Jazz apples.