Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Mother's Relaxed Applesauce

Happy Halloween!  Today I am getting ready for my Halloween party.  I just finished up my costume and am about to embark on an afternoon of treat-making, but I wanted to write about something non-Halloween related.  It will be more fun to write about all my Halloween festivities once they have happened, so today is all about applesauce.

I just love the abundance of apples during this time of the year.  I seem to be getting them from all kinds of sources--the farmers market, my CSA, friends who have gone apple picking.  Of course they are wonderful for eating and baking but here is another idea--make sauce!!  About a month ago, my mom started telling me about the applesauce she was making.  In the front yard of the house in Connecticut, there is a small apple tree.  Years back, hurricane Bob pulled down our old, huge, beautiful apple tree; the tree had a wooden swing and played many featured roles in me and my sister's play.  Later, my parents planted this new baby tree and finally it has begun to bear fruit.  Recently, some of the fallen fruit was attracting yellow jackets (who are starting to realize they don't have too long left before winter).  This can dangerous when my dad mows the lawn--if you mow over an apple by mistake it's not such a problem, but it is a big deal if that fruit has bees in it!!  So after picking up all the fruit in the grass, my parents found themselves with a plethora of apples and started making applesauce. 

The other day, I too found myself with loads of apples on hand.  Although I would have loved to make a pie or crisp, I am now a working girl and I wanted a quicker and less hands-on recipe for an apple something.  I emailed my mom about it, and here is her response:

Here’s how I do the applesauce – skin them, unless they are organic and then you can leave the skins on to make pink applesauce – chop them (doesn’t need to be perfect) – make sure the core is gone.  Throw them in a big pot – if the pot is a big soup pot or stock pot size and you fill it at least ½ way or more with apples, just add ½ cup to 1 cup of water – put it on medium heat until it gets warm and bubbles a little, then turn it down to pretty low.  You try never to boil them because it will burn.  Just keep it simmering about ½ hour, uncovered, then stir.  If it looks too thick, add more water.  Too thin, add more apples!

As you can see it’s a pretty relaxed method.  When it is done, throw it all in the blender, especially if you left the skins on and make sure there’s no skin bits – when it looks like applesauce, add a little cinnamon and you’re done.  We are eating it these days on top of oatmeal and it’s yummy.

It is a very relaxed method!!  So much so that I dubbed it "Relaxed Applesauce".  The bonus about it is that you can add in other things you have on hand--I had tons of pears from my CSA so I threw a few in just to sweeten it up.  I also decided I wanted extra cinnimon and a chunkier texture--instead of using the blender, I used a potato masher.  The loveliest part of this super simple recipe (aside from how good it tastes) is the amazing smell that wafts from the kitchen through the apartment.  Everyone who stops by will wonder what you have been cooking and they will be very impressed when you tell them.  Enjoy!! 

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