Sunday, January 6, 2013

Adventures in Applesauce

I'm not always one for New Years' resolutions because I tend to forget them when life starts happening, but one thing I've mentally committed to since I (mostly) finished grad school was to finish things I had started or use up stuff that's been lying around waiting to become something.  I have several knitting and crafting projects that are nearly done and I've since acquired (or am in the process of acquiring) the materials needed to finish them.  More to follow on those!

One project I've been meaning to do for a while is to make some applesauce.  And by "a while" I mean since the late fall I've had a fridge-drawer full of apples awaiting consumption in some form other than straight out snacking on.  There were a couple of varieties in there, one bought from the orchard of a family friend over in Middlebury and the other from the local grocery here in town which happened to also be sourced from  an orchard on the other side of the mountain, in Shoreham. 

I consulted a recipe from The Joy of Cooking for additions to the apples, but honestly folks, it's not rocket science making the stuff: some apples, some liquid, some spices; simmer on the stove until the apples are mushy.  A great multi-tasking chore, especially when one has a pile of grading to catch up on.

Some details, in case you need guidance (be adventurous and trust your gut with the amount of, and type of spices):
Joy of Cooking entry on
making applesauce
  • 9 apples (two varieties, I think)
  • some lemon juice
  • a cup or so of water
  • a cup or so of white grape juice that had been in the fridge
  • a bit of cinnamon
  • a bit of ginger
  • a bit of cardamom
  • a half a cup or so of maple syrup to sweeten (because what is more Vermont-y than maple-infused applesauce, especially when you happen to be out of regular sugar)
apples ready for simmering
I chopped up the apples into half-inch (or so) chunks and tossed them in a big pot with the lemon juice, water and grape juice, as well as the cinnamon.  I brought the mixture to a boil over medium heat and left it to simmer, stirring every so often.  When the mixture had become fairly soft, I added the ginger and cardamom, some more cinnamon and the maple syrup, stirring to combine.  I continued to let it simmer as one of the types of apples was still a little chunky - no surprise as apples behave differently when subjected to heat.  This is why some apples are recommended for pies (those that hold their shape a bit better) and some are not (those that would turn to mush, unless you like mushy apple pie). 
almost done!
some apple bits need a little more time
I actually like that it's a little chunky still, and it tastes perfect - not too sweet and just the right amount of spice. YUM!  And, I ended up with plenty of applesauce to freeze through the winter.
left: for now
right: for later

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