Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Simple Applesauce

When I was a kid, my grandparents lived out in California. What was once their neighborhood is now the headquarters of Apple, for geographic reference. In their backyard was an apple tree which I always thought was strange since apples seem more of an East Coast treasure whereas citrus fruits would be something I'd expect from California. Since they ended up with an abundance of apples, my grandmother would make applesauce each year.

Although I wasn't there annually for this treat, I decided to make some applesauce with the last round of apples from my apple picking adventures. I used a recipe from the Pioneer Woman to start and found out it's amazingly simple to make applesauce. Once the apples are peeled and cored (no washing! Yeeeeess), they are tossed in a bowl with some cinnamon and allspice. You can skip the allspice if you want or even substitute for nutmeg or cloves.

I added a squeeze of lemon juice and a hefty dose of brown sugar. I'm a brown sugar fiend and would happily snack on the hardened pieces that don't quite break apart. All of this goodness is mixed together before being added to a pot with some apple cider (or apple juice if you prefer). Everything is left to heat up and cook down. The apples will release some of their own juices so don't worry about the liquid volume.

Once the apples were nice and tender, I set aside some baked apples for ice cream topping. The rest were pureed with an immersion blender and tada! Applesauce. I fully intend to eat this applesauce by the spoonful in large quantities but it would pair well with ice cream, pork chops, latkes or used in baking instead of butter. I think there's a way you can do that.

As we round out the pumpkin/apple season, we're off to squash and then cookies and egg nog. I'm pretty pumped and even though egg nog is currently available in the grocery store, I'm holding off until my house smells like trees.

adapted from The Pioneer Woman (makes about 4-5 mason jars)
  • 12 small apples (or 6-8 regular sized ones)
    • Note: I used golden delicious but you can use other varieties too
  • Generous 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice
  • Juice from half a lemon (or one squeeze from the lemon juice bottle)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
  1. Peel the apples and use a corer to divide into slices.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the apple slices, spices, brown sugar and lemon juice.
  3. Add the apple mixture to a medium size pot. Pour the apple cider over the mixture.
  4. Cook the apples over medium heat until the fruit is cooked through and tender.
  5. If desired, set aside some apple pieces to use as dessert topping. 
  6. Otherwise, use an immersion blender to roughly blend the mixture into an applesauce consistency. 

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