Thursday, November 3, 2011

Maple Cranberry Apple Sauce

A week or so ago, in the midst of our annual too-hot-to-cook Indian summer, Serious Eats published a recipe for Maple Cranberry Applesauce. I've made cranberry applesauce before, in a failed attempt to convince K that applesauce was a joy and not a punishment. I naively assumed that a food she did not like would appear magical in pink. Alas. I had not thought of adding maple, another of my favorite flavors. With a fridge full of apples, from our own tree, the farmers market and our Mariquita box, I just needed a cool day. Today, finally, I awoke to cool winds and later, rain, a perfect day for apple sauce. 

The original recipe, from Lucy Baker, can be found at the link above. I used unpeeled apples figuring that the peels might provide a bit of nutrition, upped the cranberries and used the smallest recommended amount of maple syrup. I also upped the cooking times a little bit because canning at my house rather than Lisa's means a less powerful stove. The resulting sauce is on the sweet side and would probably be perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • 6 pounds apples, cored
  • 1/2 cup  water
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  1. Combine the apples, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the apples are tender and easy to mash with a fork, about 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the cinnamon stick. Using an immersion blender, puree the apple mixture until it is mostly smooth with a few small chunks. (Alternatively, puree half of the mixture in a food processor or blender.) Stir in the cranberries, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Return the mixture to a simmer and cook until the cranberries begin to pop, about 15 minutes.
  3. Ladle the hot applesauce into sterilized jars and process for 20 minutes.

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