- 3 pounds apples, quartered
- Honey or sugar (optional)
- Lemon juice (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite spice: cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, cloves (optional)
Now, to begin.
Step 1: Get thee to the Kingfield Farmers Market/Fulton Farmers Market Holiday Market… Market Market Market this Sunday and grab a peck of apples. These beautiful Ruby Jons originated there this time last year. I waited too long to eat them because they were just that pretty. They were more than apples. They were plum like. Jewels! As Deborah Madison reminds us, almost any apple will make a good applesauce whether fresh or past its prime:
Fresh fall apples are great, but don’t overlook those older ones whose texture is no longer good for eating out of hand. And include some red skins—they tint the sauce pink.
—Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Step 2: Madison says a pressure cooker will get you send you from 0 to applesauce in under 15 minutes, but if you don’t have one you can start by putting the apples in a pot with about a 1/3 cup of water and cooking them on the stovetop for 20 minutes.
Step 3: Enter my great-grandmother’s sieve. Not exactly a modern-day food mill… but it does the job, however inefficiently, and looks good doing it, too.
With a clean pot underneath, in went the cooked apples and out came applesauce without need for any added flavors. No honey, no sugar, no lemon juice. Just perfect pink applesauce. I left out the spices as well to keep my options open. That’s the beauty of applesauce. Is it breakfast? Dessert? Pork chop-topping? It’s all of the above.
This recipe makes about 1 quart.