Saturday, October 22, 2011
When life gives you Apples, Make Applesauce
I don't know about you, but applesauce was almost a kitchen staple when I was a kid. It was that go-to extra side dish- many meals ended up following the pattern "meat-starch-vegetable-applesauce" unless it was one of the frequent pasta nights. As an adult, I've passed by applesauce more often than not. This week, however, I just couldn't think of something interesting to serve with pork chops- until it hit me- we have extra apples, most of the family likes applesauce on pork chops, and fresh applesauce beats the canned stuff any day of the week. So clearly, it was time to break my applesauce drought...
Applesauce is fairly simple in theory, but takes a little manual labor to make it happen, so it can be tedious to make large amounts in one shot without a little mechanical help. If you want to make a relatively small amount- say five or six apples worth- it si considerably less daunting. Real applesauce fans will make a huge batch while apples are in season and can it so they have a year's supply. To do mass quantities like this, you'd want to have a juicer/strainer stand mixer attachment and/or a food processor, and probably one of those simple apple corer tools to take away most of the tedium- however, for a small batch, a peeler, a paring knife, a big spoon, and a kitchen strainer will do just fine.
So you now have fresh applesauce. As I mentioned, it makes a great companion to grilled pork- even when still warm, or you can chill it and serve it as a side dish. It won't keep for very long without preservatives unless you freeze it, but you'll probably like it enough that it won't last (unless you made way too much!). If you go with fresh apples, and keep the additives minimal (if any), you can even use this as baby food for infants that are ready for solid food. Kids of all ages usually love commercial apple juice, and they'll probably love the fresh stuff even more.