I had a few neighborhood friends come over recently to make applesauce. We called it "getting sauced" for a few reasons. One was the butterscotch cider. There's been antipasto parties and stitch n' bitch sessions and the latest, Posh Applesauce. I have made applesauce with my sister-in-law Janette and my mother at different times, now it seems I am the only one left holding the apple. Requests for my applesauce for family dinners have turned into expectations that I'm happy to oblige.
The dutch do have a thing for apples in all forms it seems. The apple takes such precedence in their world, thereby their language, that their word for potato is aardappel - meaning earth apple - cute huh? I have been making this since 1997 when I adapted a recipe in a Martha mag. i confess I liked her mag at the time because it was new (to me) as were the recipes, and projects (not that I made any).
Now it seems the world has been martha'd up and it can't escape her gaze.
Great as a filling in Crepes (as long as its chunky), or with potato latkes (esp ones with green onion), smashed roots and porkchops, bangers and mash, porkroast, you get the idea.
Makes about 7 cups - freezes well - fine in fridge for a few days
- 18 McIntosh apples, (about 6 pounds), peeled, cored, and quartered - no other kind of apple will do
- 1 cup apple cider – and a bit more
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 1/2 vanilla bean (split into two quarters)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I do two)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (if you don't have, don't worry)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg - approx.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mace (if you don't have, don't worry)
- 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste (for kids I do more)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pour apple cider in small to med stock pan. Add cinnamon sticks and the 2 vanilla bean quarters. Turn up heat on stove to medium-ish to allow a simmer.
- Meanwhile, peel, core and cut apples into quarters – add them in batches as you peel them to the simmering cider. Give them a stir every so often (like after you add a few more apples) using a wooden/bamboo/material of your choice spoon to break things down a bit. Then about half way through peeling, add the ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Add more apple cider, sugar or spices as you see fit.
4. Finish adding last apples and stir and pay attention – make sure these last apples cook and break down a bit, but leave them in chunks to give you chunky applesauce. Remove vanilla pods and cinnamon sticks.