The cool days and cold night of autumn bring apples into season. There are a multitude of ways to use apples in your cooking at this time of year from pies to cider. One particularly easy way to cook with apples is to make applesauce. It is much easier than one might think, and in fact makes you wonder why one would ever purchase store bought applesauce again.
1 Stick Cinnamon plus ground cinnamon to taste
1/4 Nutmeg Kernel or 1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
3 Cardamom Pods
1 Star Anise
1 3/4 cup Apple Cider
Brown Sugar to taste
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Peel and core your apples. Cut the apples into eighths. Place the apples in a sauce pan with the cinnamon stick, nutmeg kernel (if using ground nutmeg reserve until the end), cardamom pods, star anise, and cider. Bring the apples up to a simmer and cook until the apples are completely cooked, about 30 minutes.
When cooked remove from the heat and carefully remove all spices. Allow the apples to cool slightly and them put through either a food mill or place in a food processor and blend to desired consistency. Add salt and brown sugar to sweeten to your desired level (I added 1 1/2 tablespoons). If you would like to add ground nutmeg and/or ground cinnamon do so at this point.
Tips and Tricks:
You can use whatever apples you would like. Each have their own flavor and texture and will lend subtle differences to the finished product.
Applesauce is more than just an after school snack. It pairs wonderfully with pork, you can have it with traditional Hanukkah latkes, or with spice cakes such as ginger cake.
It is not absolutely necessary to remove the skin from the apple if you are going to use a food mill, the food mill will catch them and keep them from going though. I would, however, recommend always removing the seeds as apple seeds do contain traces of arsenic and I feel it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The easiest way to core apples is to cut them into quarters and then cut each quarter at an angle to remove the seeds.
Serves 4 people.