Cortland, Braeburn, Macoun, Fuji, Elstar, Paula Red--there is no single apple variety that is best for making applesauce. Some people prefer sweeter types, to minimize the amount of sugar that will need to be added to the sauce. Others like tarter flavor, while still more go for a combination, to give balance. If you purchase your supply at a farmersí market or pick-your-own operation, you can ask the growers for their recommendation. Or just let your own tastebuds be the guide.
This recipe yields about 3 quarts of sauce.
Peel, core and quarter the apples. Combine with cranberries and 2 cups water in a large, heavy pot. Add orange juice, cinnamon sticks and 1 cup sugar to the pot.
Cover pot, bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until fruit is very tender, 30-40 minutes. Add more sugar to reach desired sweetness (remember that sauce will taste sweeter when it is warm than when it is cold). Continue to simmer another 10 minutes or so.
You can leave the applesauce chunky, if you like. For a smoother sauce, mash some of the cooked fruit against the sides of the pot and stir well. For the smoothest of all, puree the sauce with an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor.
Applesauce Cheddar English Muffins: Spread partially toasted English muffin halves with applesauce and sprinkle with Organic Valley Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese. Bake in a toaster oven until cheese is melted and applesauce is warm. Serve immediately.
Pork Chops with Applesauce: Serve warm applesauce with sauteed or baked Organic Prairie Pork Chops.
Applesauce Parfait: Spoon alternating layers of applesauce, vanilla yogurt and granola in a tall, stemmed glass. Sprinkle chopped dried cranberries on top.
Copyright by Terese Allen