When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you apples, make pie, cake, crumbles, tartes, or how about some sweet delicious sauce. At this amazing time of the year, apple season is in full bloom. So, when I went to pick my own apples at Quinn Farm, and came back to my kitchen with a large bag of apples, I reacted naturally with: “what am I going to do with all these apples”?
I really enjoy making apple sauce, and this is the best recipe you’re going to find. I like to cook the apples with the peel on for 2 reasons: color, and texture. The red peels give it a beautiful deep pink almost red color. Also, the peels have natural pectin which thickens the sauce. You’ll see the full effect of that if you refrigerate it overnight. Here’s how you can do it:
Possibly The Best Apple Sauce Ever
12 apples (I used a mix of Cortland, Macintosh, and Spartan)
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger (please don’t use the powder stuff)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
Materials: 1 medium sauce pot, 1 large bowl, spatula or wooden spoon, apple corer, colander/strainer, rasp (i.e. a microplane)
1. Zest one lemon, and set aside. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice in a large bowl (don’t forget to remove the seeds). Fill the bowl with water.
2. Core the apples, then cut into about 1-inch pieces. Place the chopped apples in the bowl of lemon-water as you go to prevent browning.
3. Heat a pot to medium heat. Drain the apples, then place them in the pot. Add lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger. TIP: freeze your ginger, then grate it on a microplane for best results.
4. Cook the apples with the lid on over low to medium-low heat until apples become very soft. This should take about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the apples from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
5. When the apples become soft, place them in a colander/strainer over a large bowl. It’s best to work in batches here, so add about 1/3 of the apples at a time. Press the hot apples with a spatula, large spoon, or ladle. This will create a wonderful, smooth consistency to the apple sauce, and will also leave the peels in the colander, which you can discard later.
6. Refrigerate overnight for best results. Serve and enjoy!