January 20, 2005

Wake the Dead Applesauce

This is a fun recipe for young people ready to work with knives; remember that sharp knives are more controllable than dull ones and thus actually safer. It isn't something made much at home any more, and it is distinctly different than the store bought variety. It has been a big hit for the wee wifey on Girl Scout overnights. Any apples will work, but you want to stay closer to the Granny Smith end of the spectrum than the Fuji end. Tart apples can mean adding more sugar - to taste, of course. Splitting the apple down the middle and then excising the seed area will increase yield over slicing fruit segments off the core. One can also leave the peel on for cooking and fish it out later. This trades one kind of labor for another, and also adds color and pectin to the sauce.

9 pounds apples -- peeled, diced & cored
50 disks Brachs cinnamon hard candy
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup water
sugar -- to taste, optional
cinnamon oil or flavoring -- to taste, optional
red hot sauce (such as Tabasco) -- to taste, optional

Peel, core & fine dice apples, put in crockpot with water, lemon juice and candy (cinnamon disks). Cook on low for 8-9 hours

Mash with potato masher & taste. Add sugar (very sparingly as there is sugar in the candy), cinnamon oil/flavoring and red hot sauce. With the hot sauce added, the flavor resembles hot pepper jelly.

If you want a smoother applesauce process in a blender or food processor. It can be kept in the refrigerator or put up in 1 cup or pint canning jars and processed in boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Might as well introduce the kids to canning while you are at it.

By the way, I made a first trial of the recipe I mentioned last week which will require sriracha sauce. It needs a little tuning, and the correction of one significant process mistake, but the concept is valid. For those who appreciate heat, the best way to maximize it will be Thai red curry paste, which should be available where you get the sriracha.

Posted by triticale at January 20, 2005 07:35 PM

I really like the idea of making the applesauce in the crockpot. It shouldn't burn and won't have to be stirred all day. If you use a food mill or perhaps even a potato ricer instead of a potato masher or blender you can leave the peels on and it won't take forever to pick them out.

Posted by: Punctilious at January 21, 2005 09:13 AM
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