Go on. You can admit it: you lugged home just as many fresh fall apples from the farm stand as you did pumpkins to carve for Halloween. Well, I know I did. What to do with them, what to do? Apple pie, of course, is always nice and seasonally appropriate, but devilishly disastrous on your waistline given the buttery, crumbly, flaky platform of pastry that it requires. And that platform of pastry can be just as devilish in another way, too, if you want to do your pie justice with a crust that will be buttery, crumbly, and flaky.
Since all apples need to be cored and seeded regardless of recipe, and most require peeling, I opted for an easy pot of my mother's applesauce, tinted naturally pink from the red peelings, then whirred in the blender to create a silky texture and satiny shine that adds just a little extra oomph for your festive holiday table. You may be tempted to use Red Delicious since they are among the most handsomely red of all apples in the marketplace today, but their beauty is quite literally only skin deep; they are bred for maximum eye appeal and shelf life rather than outstanding flavor. Consider, instead, Jonathan, Stayman, Braeburn, McIntosh, or Macoun. With a little sugar added to the cooking water, these varieties taste so much like candy that you may not even miss that apple pie.
Pink Satin Applesauce – My mother's recipe, reproduced with her permission (original source, if any, unknown)
1 cup water
Scant ½ cup sugar (optional; I used brown)
4 pounds fresh, unblemished red-skinned apples (choose those fruit that are the most deeply red; colors can vary even from same harvest)
1 large bowl cold water acidulated with the juice of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg to top finished sauce (optional)
Arrange a large saucepan with 1 cup water and optional sugar on stove top. Wash apples under running water. Transfer to cutting board. Core and quarter each apple, removing any errant seeds. Discard cores and seeds. Peel quarters, slipping them into acidulated water to prevent browning. Drop peelings into saucepan with water. Drain off acidulated water from prepared apples. Add apples to peelings in saucepan. Turn on burner to low heat to prevent apples from scorching as they render their own liquid and become softer. Stir occasionally; it will be easier to mix apples with peelings as apples become mushier. If apples are very watery, you can increase heat to medium-low. You will, however, need some liquid to facilitate blending; apples should not be too dense and “dry.” Sauce is ready when peelings have faded to a dull beige. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Spread cool sauce onto large platter or plate. Pick out the peels and discard them. Transfer sauce to blender container. Whir in bursts until sauce is smooth and shiny. Transfer to serving/storage bowl. Dust with optional spice. Refrigerate leftovers.This recipe is for Chriesi of Almond Corner, hosting Weekend Herb Blogging #257 for Haalo of Cook Almost Anything at Least Once.
I do apologize for not being around much these last few weeks. Work and other obligations have left little time and energy for blogging pleasures. I will be catching up with your recipes as soon as possible. I know that I have missed a great deal of good cooking and baking.
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