Friday, November 18, 2011
Good Enough to Eat: Awesomesauce
It's apple season! Which means that every week in our CSA box I'm getting a MILLION pounds of apples... and not just any apples. We grow Gravensteins 'round these parts.
Have you ever had a Gravenstein? Oh, they are so tart and crispy, super juicy and sweet, just screaming to be baked into something... but since my butt has been ever increasing these days I decided to make something healthy for the kiddo instead of the apple tart or French Apple Pie I really wanted to make.
But honestly, it's the easiest thing in the world. And with the right apples? Oh mother have mercy. This is delicious stuff people.
The best part is, this recipe doesn't cook them on the stove top. No slaving away over a hot burner watching the apples cook. Instead, you are roasting these babies. Stick 'em in the oven and forget about it.
Roasting caramelizes the apples, intensifies their sweetness, and makes your applesauce taste like the inside of an apple pie... without all the guilt and calories!! I feel great about serving it to the kid, and he eats it like it's candy. WINNING.
Get out there. Enjoy the fruits of the Fall harvest... and your applesauce will be awesomesauce.
(omg, did I really just write that??)
10-12 small organic apples, or 6-8 medium to large organic apples - I used some monster Gravensteins but use whatever is local and available.
2 TB of butter, cut into small pieces- sounds weird, and it's really not enough to make this super unhealthy... it just mellows out the tartness of the apples and makes the sauce a little richer. You could take it out if it really bothers you.
1 TB of Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup of Water
Pinch of salt
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp of Nutmeg
Splash of apple cider or water
1 TB of Brown Sugar - OPTIONAL - My apples didn't need this and since I was serving it to the kiddo I didn't think he needed the added sugar. It will depend on your apples though. Give 'em a taste and see if they need it... just remember, they will get sweeter as they roast.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Core and peel the apples. Cut them into large chunks.
In a 9x13 ceramic or glass dish, mix the lemon juice and water. Throw in your apples and dot with butter.
Roast for approximately 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until your apples are soft enough to squish with a spoon. This will depend on how big your pieces were to start with, so it may take a little bit longer. You want them to be nice and soft and sweet.
Once you have them cooked, you have two options. For smooth apple sauce, pureed them with either a stick blender or in a food processor. You will probably need to splash in a little water or cider to loosen it up enough to blend. For a more rustic, chunky applesauce, use the back of a fork and mash them up. You'll probably still want to add the water or cider, just to make sure the applesauce isn't too thick. While you're pureeing or mashing, add the nutmeg and cinnamon.
I mean, does it get EASIER to make a homemade dish that your family will love? I think not. And while the kiddo is devouring it at an alarming rate, I think I'll hold some back to serve with a pork dish I've been eyeballing...
But that's another recipe.
Have a great weekend!