Why it Works: Getting the Water Out
A simple experiment: Cut up two apples and add them to separate saucepans. Add a few tablespoons of brown sugar to one, but leave the other plain. Cook both over low heat. Notice how the apple without brown sugar softens and falls apart faster. The brown sugar stops the apple from softening. Calcium and acid in the brown sugar strengthen the apple’s cells, slowing their breakdown. This information helps whether you make applesauce (add the sugar after the apples cook down) or apple pie (add sugar early to help apples retain their form rather than turn to mush).