Apple sauce, which I've never made before, was the first thing on my list. While I originally had planned to cook it on the stove, I came across a few recipes that used a roasting method. Since I love what roasting does to food, my interest was certainly piqued!
Now that I've made my own apple sauce, I realize that the hardest part is peeling and coring the apples. Needless to say, apple sauce is now on my list of Things People Should Make Themselves Instead of Buying.
Since I'm much more likely to eat apple sauce on pork or cottage cheese as opposed to on ice cream, I barely sweetened mine. A couple of tablespoons of dark brown sugar were all I added; then, on a whim, I drizzled in about a tablespoon of maple syrup. I mixed the sweetened apples with apple juice and lemon juice, a few generous shakes of nutmeg, and a pinch of salt.
I poured the apple chunks into a roasting pan and nestled a couple of cinnamon sticks and a few shavings of lemon peel among them.
After roasting until the house smelled divine, I removed the cinnamon sticks and lemon peel, and stirred the apples. They just fell apart! I used a potato masher to smooth it out a little bit, but it didn't take very much work.
This apple sauce is delicious! It's spicy, with a deep, concentrated apple flavour, and just a bit of sweetness, and I'm not ashamed to say it's the best I've ever had. I'd love to try making some more with the addition of cranberries or blueberries.
I think I'll leave a little bit of it stored in the fridge for this week, and then freeze the rest in small portions. Besides eating it with pork or cottage cheese, as I mentioned earlier, can anyone suggest other ways to use it? Please let me know!
However, even if you don't, I suspect I'll be just fine eating it on its own.
Roasted Apple Sauce: The Recipe
4 lbs apples (12 large, 16 small) peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cinnamon sticks
few shavings lemon peel
Toss apples with juices, sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg and salt. Pour into a roasting pan and add cinnamon sticks and lemon peel. Roast in a 400F oven for 45 minutes. Remove cinnamon and lemon peel, and mash with a potato masher.