Thursday, September 30, 2010
It's prime apple pickin' season here in Wisconsin. Recently, I was lucky enough to spend a gorgeous fall afternoon picking apples with my mom. Biggest success of the day: I didn't get a stomach ache from eating too many apples! This was quite a feat.
One of my favorite things to make with our bountiful harvest is applesauce. Serve it hot or cold, any time of day, and it won't disappoint. Ah, applesauce.
Now, my recipe for applesauce is rather inexact because I learned how to make it while I was a grandma sitter in college. Amanda was a lovely woman in her 80s. Three days a week, I would head over to her house for a various entertaining activities. Wednesdays we'd visit the dentist to have her dentures re-fitted. The other days we would write letters to radio stations, take walks around her neighborhood, and order things from catalogues. My favorite days, though, were applesauce days.
So, Amanda, this one's for you...
8 small-medium apples*, peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces
1 cup water
Sugar, to taste
Place peeled and diced apples into a medium saucepan and add about 1" of water to the pan (about one cup.) Amanda often replaced the water with apple juice or apple cider if she had some on hand.
Crank up the heat to medium high and bring the apples to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20-25 minutes, stirring often. If the applesauce looks very dry towards the end, add a couple tablespoons of water. Add sugar to taste. This will depend on how sweet the apples are. I usually start with 2 tablespoons and increase from there. I also add a hefty sprinkle of cinnamon.
Stir for a couple more minutes, smooshing any large chunks of apple with your spoon until your applesauce is the consistency that you enjoy. Serve the applesauce warm or cold.
*I like to combine several varieties of apples when I make applesauce. Granny Smiths are delicious because they're tart (and, let's be honest, often on sale), but I think MacIntosh apples are my favorite because they're tart and sweet and they cook down very well.