Writing and cooking in: Pittsburgh, PA
Another of my pre- lap chole, distracting myself recipes was applesauce! I knew it was pretty easy to make but wasn’t entirely sure about how to go about it as far as quantities of sugar and spices went. I’d been planning on making a basic applesauce, but ended up with one that had a heavy, but delightful, cinnamon flavor. When it’s warm, it almost tastes like apple crisp without the crumb topping.
I began with about a half dozen local apples. While these are still present at Farmer’s Markets, getting them at the grocery store is tough. Even at Whole Foods the vast majority of the apples are from out of state. But there was one display of Dawson’s Apples and I had to have some. The ones that have been stored whole late into the winter aren’t as good as fresh picked right off the tree in autumn but they’re still pretty impressive and aren’t covered in that weird wax preservative stuff like so many supermarket apples are these days.
I perused quite a few applesauce recipes when deciding on how to make this, including one from A Year of Slow Cooking and another from Smitten Kitchen. I also tried to channel my mother making it after weekends we would go apple picking in Vermont and come home with a bushel of apples apiece. I was surprised by the taste of the applesauce, but ultimately quite pleased with it. I put some on my leftover Valentine’s Day pancakes yesterday – the only way to make both those foods just a little better.
Half dozen apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
1 T lemon juice
3 T brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 T water
Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until apples have darkened and softened, about 15 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly and blend to desired consistency with a hand blender or transfer to a traditional blender.
This made enough applesauce to nearly fill a 24-oz jar that formerly held Motts applesauce (hey, I’m a student on a budget, sometimes it’s on sale).
Today’s local ingredients:
Apples, Dawson’s Orchard