Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Homemade Applesauce

Applesauce is one of those things that you can really cozy up to when you are eating gluten free. It's naturally gluten free, you can use it in a variety of recipes, and it's pretty healthy. (It's got to be better than a Snickers, right?) I've made applesauce a few times, but I decided I wanted something that was just a little different, so this time I tried a secret ingredient.

The applesauce recipe I use is from the Holy Bible of Cooking, otherwise known as the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. If you don't have one, get one. The best thing about this book is that if there's a classic recipe you want to learn to make or you need to know what ingredients are in bearnaise sauce or you need to know how long to cook a roast, this book will have the answer. I've cooked from this book with my mom since I was a little kid, and I truly felt like I had arrived in adulthood when I got my own copy when I got married. But I digress.

I happened upon a bumper crop of Gala apples this weekend, and they were just at the peak of ripeness. I knew they wouldn't last more than a few days, so I peeled them, sliced them up, and put them in a big pot with some sugar and some pumpkin pie spice. Usually I just use cinnamon, but the pumpkin pie spice is a tried and tested combination. And it was the perfect complement to the apples. Make up a batch and try using applesauce instead of oil in your cookie or cake recipes. It's a little healthier and you still get a moist product.

Homemade Applesauce

from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

3 pounds (9 medium) peeled, cored, and sliced apples

1 cup water

1/3-2/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon (I used 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice)

(I also added 1/2 tsp lemon juice)

In a large pot combine apples, water, sugar and spice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cover, simmer for 8-10 minutes or until apples are tender, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat. Mash mixture with potato masher, blender (my choice) or food processor until desired texture. (I only pulsed once or twice--I like it a little lumpy.) Serve warm or chilled. Makes 4 1/2 cups.

Happy eating!

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