Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Applesauce

My dear mother-in-law, Cherie, has an apple tree from which she makes applesauce every fall.  As is true with a lot of things, her homemade version is better than storebought.  I have never made applesauce myself but on a recent trip to a farmer's market I was inspired by a box of Lodi and Rambo seconds.  Seconds just beg to be "hidden" in sauce; the box was even used for applesauce jars before this.   

I confess I was not interested in making applesauce before because I understood there is need of an apparatus, which places it low on the priority scale for this Lazy Cook.  I did borrow Mom's food mill one year but got busy with other things and never used it, probably because it sounded like a lot of work.  But I like my applesauce chunky so I figured maybe Google would tell me I could skip the food mill.

Google did just that, and of all the recipes I found I liked this one the best.*  Because of the Lodi tartness I substituted a small juice box of apple juice for the water in the bottom of the pan, then went to town on my peeler-corer-slicer.  For some reason I don't see this part as difficult/cumbersome, but what's not to like about making apple-skin ribbons?

So how does one make applesauce anyway?  Chop, cook, pulverize.  I used my hand mixer after letting the apples cook down, but the apples were sliced so thin they just kinda slipped through the blades.  In hindsight I should have used my immersion blender, but at that point I was just ready to eat some applesauce and be done with it.  I got my chunky applesauce; it was even kind of like eating pie filling.  Was happy with the results, would like to do it again when it's cool and crisp outside maybe even with the food mill if I can talk someone into doing it with me so I don't think about how long it's taking.

Oh, and the eggplant in that box pictured above became a gratin, and the plums became another rustic tart.

*That applesauce recipe turned out to be part of a blog written by the wife and daughters of C.J. Mahaney.  It covers everything from parenting to photography and makes me want to hang out with them.

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