“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.” ~ Helen Hunt Jackson
Keeping with the apple theme and also channeling a bit of childhood, my Mom, aunt, and grandmother use to make this scrumptious delicacy all the time when I was growing up. Yet as a chef and someone who worked at a Cider Mill, I never once made applesauce until Sunday. Lord knows I definitely love to eat it! With a peck of apples I had more then enough to not just make an apple crisp, but also attempt my hand at one of the staples in my diet, that up until now, people had always made me or, gasps I bought at the store!
My only complaint was that I didn’t have more apples. It was that good! And I am generally someone who doesn’t like her own baking slash cooking. In fact ninety-five percent of the time I have to trust other peoples commentary, because my taste buds always find something wrong.
Well not anymore! This silenced my tough inner critic, at least for today’s meal.
Once again the toughest part of this recipe is the coring the apples. I recommend you invest in a good apple corer slash peeler. Take it from someone who knows, if you have a bad corer, you will start cursing at any and all apples and it will not be a fun process. What is more, you also run the chance of injuring yourself…Not like I have two identical scars on my pinky from a defunct peeler or anything.
Severing pinky fingers aside, this recipe is a slice ’em and leave ’em kind of recipe. It is that easy! This is also a recipe that is a guesstimate and really depends on taste. if you love a sweeter sauce then use more brown sugar, if you prefer a tarter taste use less the same goes for cinnamon. I also add a dash of nutmeg because well why not?
I filled a three and a half quart le creuset pot to the top with a variety of different apples (the cover didn’t even shut all the way). I know there are certain apples that are best for cooking, or apple crisp, or apple sauce, but I find I prefer all different types, as it allows for a balanced flavor. Not to sweet, not to tart.
I then poured six ounces of cider, and six ounces of water into the pot, turned the stove on and went about my day (you can also do this in a slow cooker) for about forty minutes. When it began to bubble over, I turned the heat down low and began to mix and mash (I used a large metal spoon for this) until a lot of the chunks were broken up.
I stirred in about three tablespoons cinnamon, a teaspoon of nutmeg, and a half cup of brown sugar. I was expecting to use more sugar, but I really didn’t need it. I then put the top back on (which actually fit since it had reduced yay!) until it began to boil once again. about twelve minutes.
I then turned the stove off, and let it cool before I poured the mixture into a blender to smooth out the leftover chunks.
Then the real fun started! I had actually pureed it, a bit longer then I originally intended, but it was so decadent, and smooth! I honestly felt like I was eating dessert it was so yummy! I don’t think I can ever go back to store bought applesauce again!
Have you ever had or made homemade applesauce? Do you prefer it smoother or chunkier?