Image courtesy of Petr Kratochvil http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=3421&picture=apples-and-pears
It’s fall here in New England, and that means it’s apple season, but you can enjoy this all year round. Here’s my recipe for super easy homemade applesauce:
*6 flavorful apples, peeled, cored, roughly chopped, and placed in a saucepan (Empire, Cortland, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, and Macouns are my favorites, but MacIntoshes will do in a pinch. No Red Delicious, please! The flavor is too bland and the texture is too mealy to work in this recipe). Add the following to the pot:
*1/2 cup of apple cider, apple or orange juice, or plain water
*1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
*a few grates of freshly ground nutmeg (or a pinch of the kind out of a jar — don’t overdo this spice. It’s powerful)
*1/2 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light doesn’t matter)
Bring to a quick boil, then give everything a stir to make sure it isn’t sticking/burning (add more liquid if necessary). Continue to cook until apples are soft, about 20-25 minutes.
For a smooth-textured applesauce, allow the mixture to cool a bit, then whizz it up in a food processor (don’t overprocess, or you’ll end up with baby food). For a chunkier texture, which is how my family likes it, use a potato masher right in the pan until you get the consistency you like. Taste to see if you need to mix in a bit more brown sugar — apples have different degrees of tartness.
Serve warm or at room temperature with pork chops or pork tenderloin, chicken, or pierogies, or as a topping for vanilla ice cream.
**Note: You can also make this with pears! Just use a ripe, juicy, flavorful pear like a Bartlett or Anjou. The recipe is exactly the same.