It’s September and we’re having a bumper crop of apples here in the Northeast. My trees are loaded down and so I have the advantage of going out to the backyard and picking what I need. However, it’s enough for me to pick, peel and cut the apples-important since we don’t spray our trees and therefore are on the look out for worms-so I make my applesauce in the oven and don’t limit the ingredients to just apples.
This is my basic recipe, which was inspired by Ina Garten’s homemade applesauce . Modify as you see fit.
• Fill a Dutch oven (cast iron, glass, enamel or whatever you have on hand) to three quarters full with apples and other fruit you like. I generally add pears and blueberries (was a bumper crop of those this year as well). Particularly like the blueberries and it doesn't matter if they're frozen.
• Add a little orange juice or cider (other fruit juice would work), along with some cinnamon (try the Saigon variety for a richer deeper flavor), pinch of salt, sugar ( I don’t use a lot but its to personal taste), some lemon juice if it’s handy and a couple of pats of butter or margarine. Mix together.
• Put the lid on the pot and put in the oven at 350 for about an hour. Check to see if the fruit is soft and will break up when whisked. If not, continue to bake until you reach the point that the fruit can be whisked and be smooth.
I like this warm, but also mix it with plain Greek yogurt.
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