Spicy applesauce

applesauce3My grandma makes really good applesauce. When I was a kid (and before then I’m assuming), she made applesauce with tart little green June apples from a few trees on her farm. She’d have a big bucketful, and I’d sit and watch her peel them, sometimes trying to help but more often than not giving up. It’s hard for little fingers to get the hang of neatly peeling an apple; I only recently learned the trick to gently swirling off a thin layer of skin with a knife, removing only the slightest bit of fruit and leaving the bounty to consume. As a kid, Grandma could peel three apples to my one, and her fruits remained intact while mine bore big ugly gashes. They all taste the same, though, and uncooked, that taste makes you pucker. No one was tempted to sneak a slice; one sample of raw June apple is enough for a lifetime. They cooked up quite nicely, though.


I don’t know my grandma’s recipe for applesauce besides what I can easily deduce by taste and what I’ve seen- those tart apples, sugar and butter. Lots of lots of butter (at least that’s how it tastes). I’m going get her recipe soon, but I had another applesauce recipe at my fingertips, and I was curious what homemade applesauce without butter was like. Could it really be as good without it? I’m not going to say that this applesauce is as good as my grandma’s, but I can’t really say that any version of anything is better than my grandma’s. What I will say, though, is that it’s different than her’s, and it’s quite tasty.


This applesauce will really bring you to fall if fall hasn’t yet gusted up into your lawn with crinkly leaves and crisp air. It’s sweet and surprisingly spicy, flecked with cinnamon and clove. It goes well with a pork chop just as much as a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You’ll want to keep some around throughout fall.


Spicy applesauce
from The Foster’s Market Cookbook
makes about 3 cups


Note: If you don’t have ground cloves, you can either grind them (I used a chopper like this) or just skip them. It’ll be good without clove, but it does add another great layer of flavor.


2 pounds ( 6 small) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup apple juice
juice of ½ lemon
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1. Place apples, sugar and both juices in a large heavy bottomed sauce pan; cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Once the apples begin to soften (you’ll notice as you stir), start to gently mash them with your spoon to help them break apart.

2. Mix the cinnamon and cloves to the apples; continue to cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve hot or cold.

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