Happy Apple Week: Day One -- Basic Applesauce Recipe
The second week of August is dedicated to one of the best fruits: apples. The beauty of apples is all their flavors; the United States only has one third of the varieties of apples found throughout the world. Used in a variety of savory and sweet dishes, they're also great by themselves. I guess you could say I love apples.
Photos by Molly Dunn Chunky applesauce is the way to go.
To kick-start this week-long apple celebration, I have decided to make one of the most well-recognized apple-based dishes: applesauce. We've all had applesauce in our lunchboxes as children and have probably used it in baked goods as a healthy substitution for oil or butter.
Here's our first recipe of the week, which pays tribute to the wonderful, naturally sweet flavors of the apple.
I always prefer to have a chunkier applesauce instead of a smooth and silky applesauce. The apples are my favorite part, so having a little extra crunch makes it ten times better.
I also like to use tart apples when I make applesauce. Cooking tart Granny Smith apples with cinnamon and brown sugar results in a sweet and comforting treat.
I wish I could peel apples with a pocket knife.
To start making the applesauce, we have to start with fresh apples. So, peel the skin off with an apple peeler and chop the apples into bite-size pieces. My grandpa could peel off the skin of an apple in one continuous peel...with a pocket knife. Unfortunately, skills like that are not hereditary.
Once you have chopped the apples, place them in a small sauce pot. I made one serving of applesauce and ended up using only one apple. If you want to make a larger amount of applesauce, you'll need to use a larger pot.
Now, add some good stuff to these apples: brown sugar, ground cinnamon and vanilla. Everyone has their version of applesauce, so, of course, you can add other seasonings like nutmeg, cloves, salt, lemon or white sugar, but I like to keep it simple and enhance the apples with a few basic flavors.
That's the good stuff right there.
When you have added all the ingredients in a sauce pot, cover and cook over medium-low for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The apples need to be soft enough to mash with a potato masher.
You can serve it hot or cold, whichever way you prefer. This is definitely the way to kick off apple week. Come back tomorrow for another apple recipe.
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