As I’ve mentioned before, several times, my kids don’t like imperfect fruit. That sentence makes them sound like spoiled brats (which they are to a certain extent), but I don’t love biting into a bruised, blemished apple either, although I’ll do it.I had 25 apples in my fridge’s crisper drawer that were obviously not getting eaten. When you have that many apples, make applesauce. I know, applesauce can be kind of boring sometimes. Well, not this one from Martha Stewart. Instead of boiling apples in a saucepan, you roast them in the oven with brown sugar, butter, lemon juice then you season it with aromatic spices. The best part is that you just wash and quarter the apples. You don’t need to peel or core them. The food mill traps all the nasty bits and you’re left with silky smooth applesauce. It’s really good on its own but if you want to gild the lily a bit, serve it warm with a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
P.S. I doubled the recipe and made it in my big roasting pan, which took close to an hour. I doubled all the ingredients except for the brown sugar which I kept at 6 tablespoons. Because of the sweetness of my apples, I still found the applesauce a bit too sweet. Next time I’ll put less sugar. It’s all a matter of taste.
- ¼ cup water
- 6 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 pounds small assorted apples, such as Gala, McIntosh, or Fuji (about 10)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine water, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- Scatter butter pieces over mixture, and top with apples. Roast until apples are very soft, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Working in batches, pass apple mixture through the medium disk of a food mill and into a bowl. Stir in spices. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Applesauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.