Sunday, October 28, 2007

About That Applesauce

I strongly urge all applesauce lovers to try Ina's Homemade Applesauce. Actually, try the version that I made. I'm calling it Baked Applesauce, which is a better description of what it is and it is superb.

It has everything a good applesauce should have - sweetness, bit of tang, and imperceptible citrus note from the orange juice and rind. (That Ina is a genius). The orange juice adds some zing, the lemon some zest. Plus, cooking it in the oven does save many moments of stirring and looking and worrying - definitely not Ina's style and I could save a few worry lines myself.

I did change a few things: I couldn't bring myself to add the butter Ina called for and I thought the allspice was unnecessary, and I added only a 1/4 cup sugar, which is 1/4 cup more than I usually add.

I WAS nervous about leaving the apples in such big pieces, but I was glad I did. The whole thing cooked down so completely that I probably could have left the apples whole. In that heavy pot, in that hot oven and for that long a time, the apples will cook so far down under you'll think you're in Australia. I didn't stir or mash the applesauce any further. I like a chunky texture. (Oh, the peels were a bit difficult to discern, some were still in there, but they didn't bother me.)

I have to say it was the best applesauce I've EVER made, in fact, I think it was the best applesauce in all the land.

Ina's and My Baked Applesauce (serves 6 - 20)

3 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered and cored
3 lbs. Macintosh apples, peeled, quartered and cored (reserve some of the reddest pieces of peel)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 oranges, zested and juiced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix everything together in a 5 quart Le Creuset Dutch oven. Scatter the red apple peels on the top. Cover and bake for one hour. Remove pot carefully. It's hot and heavy. Remove peels if you can find them, stir gently to keep lumps intact. Enjoy (you will).


jOoLz said...

i've tried ina's applesauce, and it's good... but i have to say that chiarello's roasted applesauce is better. i made it with the accompanying pork tenderloin and it's definitely become a part of my rotation.

honey roasted applesauce

6 gravenstein or mcintosh apples, peeled & cored
2 T unsalted butter
2 T lemon juice
½ t salt
½ c honey
1 t cinnamon

preheat oven to 425°

brown butter in a large, oven-safe pan over med-hi heat. add lemon juice and cook 1 min.
stand back because it WILL splatter. add apples, honey and salt and cook 5-6 min.

put pan in oven and bake 15-20 mins.

dump contents into a bowl and use a fork to mash up the apples. don't go overboard though -
you want the applesauce to still be chunky.

=> i haven't had to mash the apples yet. it comes out of the oven just perfect. also, isn't it great how chiarello can restrain himself in re butter when need be?

and, the last time i made this, i used mcintoshes, and cut down a bit on the honey. i think i used 1/3 c and, i used ceylon cinnamon instead of my usual saigon. i think it works better in savory applications.

Sue said...

I'm a misfit and I pressed REJECT instead of PUBLISH, which I would never do intentionally. Here's what dear Emilie said:

G'day mate! Your applesauce looks divine. I would make it, but everyone around here doesn't like applesauce. I do, though.
I don't think it needs butter, either.

Guess what I'm watching?! Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Halloween! This episode is all about the cleavage.

Anonymous said...

Have you caught the Gourmet Next Door? Its surprisingly watchable. She actually seems to know what she's talking about, and her food looks pretty tasty.

Emily said...

Damn you!

Sue said...

Hi Joolz,

Michael is the bomb! And he does have great saturated fat control. That recipe looks really good, BUT the benefit of Ina's is that you throw it together and then forget about it. But I imagine the added flavor from the open roasting in Michael's recipe is wonderful. I have to try it.

Sue said...

Now THAT'S the comment, I should have rejected!

Sue said...

Hi Anon,
That's that Amy person, right? I will try to watch her, but frankly people who win cooking contests are basically people who win cooking contests, not necessarily chefs. I do have to say, though, that while I don't watch Guy Spiky Hair regularly, he does know his stuff