Weekend Kitchen: French applesauce, Je t’aime

Applesauce

By Julia Westhoff

I’ve mentioned several times how much I love making applesauce. Apples are so cheap right now, and homemade applesauce is lightyears better than what you can buy in the store. This weekend marks my third round just this month, and the girls eat it like it is ice cream. My method is getting better and better every time – I think I have finally discovered the hallmark of amazing applesauce. Any guesses? You got it – butter!

I adapted this recipe from my trusty Joy of Cooking. The butter adds a velvety creaminess, (which is kind of a creepy phrase?) and my food mill made it all exceptionally easy to achieve the perfect chunkiness (again, that sounded creepy for some reason). I was totally on the fence about that food mill purchase, but I use it nonstop now. If you’re interested, I found mine at the New Dime Store in Brookside.

If you already have a favorite applesauce recipe, I encourage you to try throwing a little unsalted butter in there. You will be amazed at the richness it provides (I did it! Not a creepy sentence at all).

French Applesauce
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

3 lbs apples, quartered
½ cup apple cider or apple juice (if you have on, hand – just add a little water if not)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
Sugar or honey to taste (no more than a few tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients in large saucepan. Cover and simmer until apples are tender (I usually leave mine on for an hour or so) and broken down, stirring occasionally. Add sugar or honey, and vanilla to taste. Discard the cinnamon stick. Process applesauce using a food mill.

Note: If you don’t have a food mill just plan on coring your apples and cutting them into smaller chunks. You can use a potato masher to process the applesauce to your desired consistency.