HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

October 25, 2012

Weekends are for projects.

You know, tackling the things you just haven’t felt up to tackling during the week, starting something you need several hours to finish, cooking something unhurriedly, collaborating, sorting, organizing, repairing.   Recent and upcoming projects in our household include: dealing with papers that have been piling up on desks, putting in our fall garden, sorting through baby clothes and weeding out the ones he’s already too big for, researching replacement options for the kitchen tile we despise, making the final edits on a book manuscript (!), and taking really long, decadent naps while the baby naps (sometimes the most exciting project of all, not going to lie.)

Applesauce can be a project, too.  It’s dead simple once you’ve got all of your ingredients prepped, and even the work of peeling & chopping several pounds of apples can become meditative and kind of comforting in its repetitive rhythm.  Also, homemade applesauce is one of the more delicious weekend projects you can undertake; nothing better than a project that’s edible AND makes the house smell good.

What project(s) do you have on deck this weekend?

HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE RECIPE

My favorite way to eat this applesauce is warmed up, in a bowl, with a big dollop of cold, plain yogurt on top.  Sounds weird, but it’s delicious.  Try it!

Besides eating it, you can also use this applesauce for baking, subbing it in for cooking oil in quick breads and muffins.

ingredients:

approximately 4 lb. apples (I used a combination of Jonagold, McIntosh, & Granny Smith)
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
1 star anise pod
¼ cup brown sugar
5 strips lemon peel
juice of one lemon

Peel, core, & chop the apples.  Combine with the remaining ingredients in large Dutch oven or similar pot.  Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples begin to break down and turn soft.  For me, this took about 45 minutes.

Remove the cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, & lemon peel; taste the applesauce.  Add more lemon juice if it seems flat, more sugar if you’d like it sweeter.  As for texture, I prefer my applesauce a bit chunky, so just stirring mine worked, but you may want to press yours through a sieve or put it through a food mill once it cools.

Keeps in a jar in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

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