Spread the love

Cook’s notes: It’s a little silly to call this a recipe, as it’s really just a method. If not having proportions spelled out makes you nervous in a recipe, this is the perfect spot to kick your confidence up. Unless you scorch the apples (and of course, you won’t), you really can’t mess this up. Of course, if you want plain applesauce, or just vanilla applesauce, leave out the lemon and/or vanilla. Note that if you want chunky applesauce, you’ll want to start with peeled apples.

The method:

For peeled apples: Peel and core as many apples as you like (I suggest at least 4, but you can do as many as will fit in your pot). Cut apples into quarters or eighths and place in a saucepan with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Add grated lemon zest — about 1 lemon per 8 apples. Set the pan on medium heat and cover. As soon as you hear things begin to bubble, check the apples every few minutes, adding more water if it all cooks away (if your apples are very juicy, they will need barely any water — you just want to avoid the water cooking off and causing your apples, and any sugary liquid they have given up, to scorch).

Cook until the apples are completely soft and fall apart if you press on them gently. Mash with a potato masher or fork for chunky applesauce. For smooth sauce, transfer apples with a slotted spoon to a blender and puree until smooth. Be careful! The apples are hot, so be sure the lid is on securely, and cover it with a towel. Run the blender on slow speed to start. If the sauce seems very thick, add a little of the liquid remaining in the saucepan. Add a little sugar or other sweetener (brown sugar, maple syrup, honey) and a teaspoon of vanilla to start for every 8 apples. Taste and add vanilla and sweetener as needed, and freshly squeezed lemon juice as needed. If you don’t serve it warm, taste again after the applesauce has cooled and adjust flavorings as needed.

For unpeeled apples: Cut apples (I suggest at least 4, but you can do as many as will fit in your pot) into quarters or eighths, coring them if you like. Coring isn’t necessary, as you’ll be putting the sauce through a food mill or strainer anyway. Place in a saucepan with just a little water in the bottom. Add grated lemon zest — about 1 lemon per 8 apples. Set the pan on medium heat and cover. As soon as you hear things begin to bubble, check the apples every few minutes, adding a little more water if it all cooks away (if your apples are very juicy, they will need barely any water — you just want to avoid the water cooking away and causing your apples, and any sugary liquid they have given up, to scorch).

Cook until the apples are completely soft and fall apart if you press on them gently; the skins will also be coming off. Transfer the apples with a slotted spoon to a food mill and puree, or press through a coarse strainer. If the sauce seems very thick, add a little of the liquid remaining in the saucepan. Add a little sugar or other sweetener (brown sugar, maple syrup, honey) and a teaspoon of vanilla to start for every 8 apples. Taste and add vanilla and sweetener as needed, and freshly squeezed lemon juice as needed. If you don’t serve it warm, taste again after the applesauce has cooled and adjust flavorings as needed.

Related column: Snack Attack: Lemon-Vanilla Applesauce

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Comments Closed

Comments are closed.