photo found on flickr- forgot to take my own!
I made bbq ribs the other night in our stovetop smoker (AMAZING registry gift!), and I decided that a homemade applesauce would be a perfect accompaniament to the ribs. Little did I know that we should all be making homemade applesauce all the time. Ladies, it's so frickin easy, and so much better than the canned variety in the store. The hardest part is peeling the apples. I did just read on a website that many people leave some of the skin on because it allows the sauce to have even more flavor and color, so that'll save me time this week when I make this again.
I used Jonathan apples for my sauce, and they were delish. They are a sweeter apple so it required using much less sugar than some of the recipes on the web called for. According to www.pickyourown.org/apples, the varieties they recommend for sauce include
I wouldn't use my beloved Honeycrisp for this purpose as I've used them in other baking projects, and I thought they ended up mushy, watery, and just not good. I'm going to combine a few different apples this week to see how that changes the flavor.
I peeled 6 smaller sized apples, cut them into wedges and put them into a sauce pan with 1/4 c water, 1/4 c sugar, 1 1/2 tbsps butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (to taste). Many recipes I saw called for at least 1/2 c sugar, but this would have made the sauce way too sweet, in my opinion. I would definitely start out on the lower end of the sugar spectrum and add more if you need it. One of the reasons to pick the apples above is that they are all sweeter apples and the flavor is brought out even more when reduced.
Place the heat on medium and reduce the ingredients for 15- 30 minutes or until soft. I used a potato masher to mash mine, but you could just as easily use a food processor. You'll want to leave some texture to the sauce, so don't purree it too finely. If you do leave the skins on, make sure any of the larger pieces of skin are processed or discarded before serving as a huge piece of apple skin isn't the most appealing on a plate. When I make it again this week, I'll be using a much larger bunch of apples, as our sauce didn't even make it to leftovers!
If you do make a big batch, there are many, many uses for leftovers: on top of oatmeal for breakfast, as a sauce for pancakes or waffles, over vanilla ice cream for dessert, as baby food, for lunch the next day, as a topping for Greek yogurt, as an accompniament to pork tenderloin, as a filling for apple turnovers (yum!) etc. I'm sure you guys can fill me in on any other ways you think it sounds good!
Let me know if you make some! I'd love to know which apples you used and if you liked it or not. Also for those of you out there who love using the slow cooker, I found a few recipes out there when I was searching. They sounded good, and if you have a fall party of some sort, this would be a great way to get at least one thing off the stovetop!