December 6, 2012

Roasted Chunky Applesauce

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Late Fall is truly the best time of the year for really great apples. Last weekend when I was at the farmer's market, I think I counted 11 different varieties of apples being sold. My favorite apple variety is the Honeycrisp. To me, they have the perfect balance of tart, crisp, and sweet. That being said, I enjoy all sorts of varieties and like to have many of them in the house at a time. My kids love sampling the different varieties and weighing in on which ones they like best too. It makes a fun snack to prepare a platter of sliced apples sprinkled with ground cinnamon and letting everyone pick their favorites.

With Hanukkah beginning this weekend, I have been working on some new recipes to share including latkes that are vegan and gluten-free. A typical accompaniment to latkes is applesauce. I think that you will enjoy this recipe for applesauce made of all of the varieties of apples I currently have in my house that is roasted instead of cooked on the stove top. The roasting adds an extra layer of caramelization and flavor to the sauce that cannot be accomplished in a saucepan. I happen to like it in a chunky style, but it can easily be pureed once it has been roasted. Serve it with latkes, in oatmeal porridge, or on its own. You will love it.

Roasted Chunky Applesauce
Makes 3-4 cups
For all ingredients, please consider using those that are grown organically.
 
7-8 assorted varieties of apples, fuji, honeycrisp, granny smith, or gala
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup maple syrup, preferably grade B
1 cup purified water
 
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Peel the apples and cut them into symmetrical halves. Use a serrated melon baller or scoop to remove the cores, stems, and blossoms.
Cut the cleaned apples into chunks about 1/2 inch in size. There is no need for the pieces to be exactly the same size. Put them into a pan or baking dish.
Top the prepared apples with the lemon zest and juice, cinnamon sticks, star anise, maple syrup, and ground cinnamon. Use your hands to toss and combine the ingredients.
Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and roast for 45-60 minutes or until the apples are able to be mashed with a fork. Check the apples every 15-20 minutes. They should be browning on the top and caramelizing in the bottom of the dish. Toss them around with a wooden spoon to blend the flavors and redistribute the pieces. If they seem too dry and there is no longer liquid in the pan, add another 1/4-1/2 cup of water as needed.
When the apples are softened and cooked through, remove the pan from the oven. Allow the apples to cool for about 10 minutes and use a fork to mash a portion of them if desired. I like a chunky consistency. If you prefer a smoother or less chunky texture, mash a larger amount of the roasted apples or pulse them in a food processor fitted with the metal blade.
Allow the mixture to come to room temperature before serving or storing in the refrigerator. The applesauce will keep for about a week refrigerated.

 

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Categories: Dressings & Sauces, Fall & Winter, Fruits, Kids in the Kitchen
 

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One Response to Roasted Chunky Applesauce

  1. Julee says:

    I agree with you on the Honeycrisp. Ever since I started making my own applesauce I’ve never bought it in a jar again. And it’s so easy to do! Well worth the peeling/cutting up of apples. Applesauce freezes beautifully, so I always make as much as I can in a very big pot. Perfect time of year for this post.

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