APPLESAUCE

Ok, so you spent the day at the orchard picking WAY too many apples and now you gotta do something with them. Eating a few fresh off the tree beauties while deciding what to make is totally mandatory. A Pie or three, of course. A crisp or two, absolutely. After the first round of baking and eating and pants loosening subsides and you realize that you have enough apples left to feed everyone in New Jersey. It’s obviously time to break out the applesauce recipes.

There is nothing better than homemade applesauce made with your very own hand-picked apples. Having an apple peeler really helps but peeling and cutting by had is actually a great family affair (much like picking the apples). When making applesauce I think its best to use more than one kind of apple in each recipe. Of course, if you have a preference, by all means use the one you like best. For a sweeter less sugar added applesauce I suggest using Jonagold, Crispin or Golden Delicious as these varieties tend to have higher sugar content.

          While most applesauce recipes call for cooking on the top of the range there’s nothing that says you can’t use your microwave. When you cook the applesauce on the stove top I make sure to add a little water to the mix so that the apples won’t stick to the bottom of the pan. You can always substitute brown sugar for white but know that it gives a slightly deeper color and flavor to the applesauce.

  If you want chunky applesauce, use a potato masher to mash the cooked apples. If you prefer smooth apple sauce, run the cooked apples through a food mill or processor.

Applesauce Tips:

Adding a few strips of lemon peel to the apples while cooking heightens the apple flavor.

The sugar amounts are just guidelines and can be adjusted to suit your own taste.

1 large apple = 3/4 cup sauce

1 medium apple= 1/2 cup sauce

CHUNKY APPLESAUCE

3 to 4 lbs of peeled, cored, and quartered apples ( Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonathan or Mcintosh)

4 strips of lemon peel – use a vegetable peeler to strip 4 lengths

Juice of one lemon (3 to 4 tablespoons)

3 inches of cinnamon stick

1/4 cup of dark brown sugar

up to 1/4 cup of white sugar

1 cup of water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon peels. Mash with potato masher. Ready to serve, either hot or refrigerated.

Can store for up to a year in the freezer. Serves 8 to 10.

ROASTED APPLESAUCE

Most applesauce recipes call for boiling the apples. But in this applesauce recipe, the apples are roasted.

8-10 Granny Smith, Rome Beauty or Jonagold apples

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425. Peel and dice apples into 1-inch pieces. The more uniform the apple pieces are, the more evenly they’ll cook. Toss apples with remaining ingredients. Spread out in an even layer on a sturdy baking sheet or shallow roasting pan. Roast 10 minutes. Stir. Roast another 5-15 minutes until apples are soft enough to mash lightly. Scrape apples into a dish, mashing lightly. Leave some chunks, if desired. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Serves 8.

PEAR APPLE SAUCE

6 Anjou or Comice pears (slightly underripe), peeled and cut into large pieces
4 apples (Granny Smith, McIntosh, and/or Golden Delicious)
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Core, peel, and cut the pears and apples into large chunks. In a large, heavy pot, toss with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Combine the pears and apples with the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes or until the fruit is tender but not mushy. Uncover the pot, stir and cook 5 minutes more. Adjust the flavors and remove from heat, stirring carefully so as not to break up the fruit too much. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 4 days. Serves 6 to 8.

CRANBERRY APPLESAUCE

12 medium apples
1 cup cranberry juice
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Wash the apples and chop them up without peeling. Squeeze lemon juice over them as you cut them. Put apples in crockpot with cranberry juice — use 1 cup if you want the applesauce thick, more if you want it thin. Stir in sugar to suit your taste. Let apples stew on low for 6-8 hours. About an hour or two before serving, stir in cranberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 8 to 10.

STRAWBERRY APPLESAUCE

2 1/2 pounds small Red Delicious apples (about 6 medium), quartered, cored, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups water
1 1-pint basket fresh strawberries, hulled, halved
1 3-ounce package strawberry-flavored gelatin
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional)

 In a large sauce pan combine the apples, water and strawberries. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until apples are falling-apart tender, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Mix in gelatin and stir until dissolved. Adjust tartness with lemon juice, if desired. Cover and let cool. Refrigerate until cold and thickened, at least 2 hours. (Can be prepared up to 3 days ahead.) Serves 6 to 8.

Modified from epicurean.com

STRAWBERRY APPLESAUCE 2
Serve this applesauce hot or cold.

2 cups peeled, cored, and coarse-chopped apples
2 cups hulled strawberries, fresh or frozen (unsweetened)
1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate

In a medium-sized saucepan combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over very low heat for about 25 minutes, or until apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Mash lightly or purée in a food processor, if desired. Makes 2 cups.

SPICED APPLESAUCE

8 to 10 apples (use 2 different types) cored, peeled and diced

3 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup sugar

Place all the ingredients in a pan. (Do not add water.) Cover and cook until the apples are soft but not mushy. Mash with a potato masher because you want to leave some of the apples in chunks. Cool and serve. Serves 8. This recipe can be doubled.

RUSTIC APPLESAUCE

4 cups cubed peeled Braeburn or Pink Lady apple
4 cups cubed peeled Granny Smith apple
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt
2 tablespoons sour cream

Combine the apples, brown sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a Dutch oven. Cook over a medium heat for 25 minutes or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; mash to desired consistency with a fork or potato masher. Stir in the sour cream. Serve warm or chilled.

APPLE BUTTER

3 quarts Unsweetened Applesauce
2 lb Granulated Sugar
1 lb Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Apple Cider
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Allspice
3/4 teaspoon Cloves
3 teaspoon Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325. In a large roasting pot combine the applesauce, sugars, and cider together and cook  for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the nutmeg, allspice cloves and cinnamon. Mix to combine. Return to oven and cook 1 hour more. Apple butter requires long, slow cooking. (Can also be made in a crockpot). Makes 4 quarts. Can be frozen.

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