Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Applesauce

We had a little under a dozen apples leftover from our major apple picking trip and a few of them had gone mealy. The perfect solution for mealy apples is to make applesauce!

I can eat a plain apple without needing to sprinkle it with sugar, so when I make applesauce, which is a much more concentrated apple flavor, I don't see the need to add any sugar. However, if you prefer a sweeter applesauce, I recommend adding brown sugar, as it adds a nicer caramel flavor which nicely complements the apples.

I've been mostly enjoying this applesauce as a snack. However, it can also be used to top pork chops, as an additive to the marinade for jeyuk bokkeum (instead of freshly grated apple), or it can be used in baking as a substitute for oil. The oil substitute use is one I tend to apply to boxed cake mixes but can certainly be used for homemade batters as well. Applesauce can also be cooked down further to become apple butter. I'll be sharing that in my next post!
Ingredients [yields approximately 4 pints]:
5 lbs. apples
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of 1 orange
½ cup orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon grated ginger
+ ¼ cup brown sugar (optional)

Start by peeling, coring, and roughly chopping the apples. Toss them all into a large pot; I used a French oven.
To the apples, add in lemon zest, orange zest, lemon juice, orange juice, a cinnamon stick, a piece of orange rind studded with cloves, and grated ginger.
Place the pot on the hob over low heat, stirring occasionally as the apples start to break down.
It will take about 20 minutes to finish up the applesauce. You'll know it's ready when the pot is no longer heaped and the apples are quite soft.
If you're a fan of smooth applesauce, you can cool the mixture a bit and then take to it with an immersion blender or a regular blender or even a food processor. If you're like me and prefer a chunkier applesauce, just take to it with a potato masher.
Let the applesauce cool slightly before jarring it and storing it in the fridge. If you can it properly, of course it will last longer, but if you're lazy like me (and you know you can finish it in a timely manner), just jar it normally and it will last about 2 weeks in the fridge.
I really love my mixture of seasonings and spices. I'm not the biggest fan of ground cinnamon in my applesauce; I feel like it can be overpowering. However, cooking the sauce with a cinnamon stick adds a lovely perfumey smell of cinnamon without overwhelming the flavor of the apples. Plus, the kick of citrus adds a brightness and freshness, the ginger adds a hint of spiciness, and the cloves make this taste like autumn.
Here's the recipe page:

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