Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving apple sauce

When some people hear I make my own apple sauce, they look at me with the one raised eyebrow that says: isn't that the stuff that you buy in a jar at the Giant?

But anyone who has had homemade applesauce knows it's as different from the bottled stuff as pizza is from Pizza Hut. Sure, there is a similarity. But where as the store bought stuff tends to be shallow and runny, sauce made from fresh apples is rich and thick. And if you're going to be home and can stir the pot from time to time, it's one of the easiest recipes out there.

P.S. -- the apple sauce keeps in the fridge for about a week, so it's one you can make ahead. But I do like it served warm, which you can accomplish with a quick zap in the microwave.

1 bag apples (your choice. The sweeter the apple you use, the less sugar you need)
1 T butter
Sugar, to taste (see Note)
Splash of lemon juice
Cinnamon, to taste
Nutmeg, to taste
Dash of salt
Peel and dice apples. Put in a saucepan set over medium and add butter. Stir regularly until apples begin to break down and release their juice. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and continue cooking until apples are almost completely broken down. Add sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (I typically use about twice as much cinnamon as nutmeg).
At this point you can either use an immersion blender to make a smooth sauce, or leave the chunks that remain to make a chunky sauce. I let my mood be my guide on that one.

Note: I typically use golden delicious apples and find they don't need any added sugar. But a more tart apple like granny smith will need some.

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