Why This Recipe Works
When we decided to develop an applesauce recipe, preserving the taste of fresh apples was paramount. First, we chose the right apple. We chose McIntosh for their colorful skins, their balanced sweet/tart flavor, and their tendency to break down readily. Second, we learned it was best not to peel the apples; cooking the the fruit with the skin on further boosted flavor in our applesauce recipe.
IngredientsPrint Shopping List
|4||pounds apples (8 to 12 medium), unpeeled, cored, and cut into rough 1 1/2-inch pieces|
|¼||cup granulated sugar|
|Pinch table salt|
|2||tablespoons unsalted butter - stir into finished sauce|
|3||inch cinnamon sticks (2) -- cook with apples and remove prior to pureeing|
|¼||teaspoon ground cinnamon - stir into finished sauce|
|1||cup cranberries (fresh or frozen) - cook and puree with apples|
|4||whole cloves - cook with apples and remove prior to serving|
|1 ½||inch piece fresh ginger, sliced into three pieces and smashed - cook with apples and remove prior to pureeing|
|1||teaspoon lemon zest - cook and puree with apples|
|2||tablespoons lemon juice - stir into finished sauce|
|⅔||cup Red Hot candy - cook and puree with apples|
|2||pieces star anise (whole) - cook with apples and remove prior to serving|
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InstructionsServes 7 (Makes about 3 1/2 cups)
We like the tart flavor of McIntosh apples in this recipe, but Jonagold and Pink Lady apples are good, too. Nearly any variety of apple can be substituted, except for Red and Golden Delicious. Applesauce made with out-of-season apples may be somewhat drier than sauce made with peak-season apples, so it’s likely that in step 2 of the recipe you will need to add more water to adjust the texture. If you double the recipe, the apples will need 10 to 15 minutes of extra cooking time.
1. Toss apples, sugar, salt, and water in large, heavy-bottomed nonreactive Dutch oven. Cover pot and cook apples over medium-high heat until they begin to break down, 15 to 20 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally with wooden spoon to break up any large chunks.
2. Process cooked apples through food mill fitted with medium disk. Season with extra sugar or add water to adjust consistency as desired. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or chilled. (Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days.)