Published September 1, 2002.
Choose the right apple, don't peel it, and add nothing more than sugar and water. It's that simple.
Often the tart, sweet, fruity, floral nuances of fresh apple flavor are lost to a heavy hand with sweeteners and spices, so the sauce ends up tasting like a bad pie filling. The texture, too, can vary from dry and chunky to loose and thin.
Preserving the taste of fresh apples was paramount. We wanted a pure, deep apple flavor that we could use in recipe variations to swing either savory or sweet. For texture, we wanted a sauce that was soft, smooth, and thick, almost like a pudding.
First, choose the right apple. We highly recommend Jonagold, Jonathan, Pink Lady, and Macoun varieties—all produce a sauce with a pleasing balance of tart and sweet. Second, don't peel the apples; cooking the skin with the fruit further boosts flavor. Once the apples have been cooked—along with a modest amount of sugar, a pinch of salt, and water—pass them through a food mill for a smooth, thick, almost silky texture.list of recipes