Tuesday, November 07, 2006

warm comfort in a dish

Precious Mushy Apples

Think of mushy apples. Think of biting into one. You're anticipating a nice, crisp, juicy bite, and you get a mouthful of mushy, mealy, yucky apple. Ptheh! Do you finish eating it because you're a waste-not, want-not sort of a person, or do you immediately chuck it in your compost bucket/trash can/back yard? (This last one's not as far-fetched as you might think. There's a forest about 15 feet from our back door. We always figure there's some wild animal who will find a mushy apple quite appetizing.)

Now here's a third option: When life gives you mushy apples, make applesauce! It's so incredibly easy. And the smell! To walk in a house that has applesauce simmering on the stove is to experience immediate bliss. The Huz has sweet, comforting memories of his mother making applesauce and serving it warm. It's a shame I haven't made this for him before.

For this recipe, quantities are approximate. If you increase the number of apples, you don't need to increase the amount of liquid. Flavorings are yours to experiment with. And, by the way, your apples don't have to be mushy to make applesauce! And you don't have to peel the apples if you're serving it warm; they just add nice texture and color. If you're planning to store the applesauce in the fridge, though, it's probably best to go ahead and peel them.

Homemade Applesauce

8-10 medium apples, tart if you like tart applesauce
½ c liquid (apple juice, cider, water, other mild non-citrus juices)
1 or more small cinnamon sticks, to taste, or use ground cinnamon to taste

Peel (optional if serving warm), core, and chop your apples. If you like smooth applesauce, try to make the pieces all the same size. That's easy if you have a handy-dandy apple peeler/corer/slicer! Place all ingredients in an appropriately sized sauce pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes or so. That's it!
Our apples were quite tart, and I considered adding some sugar but consulted with The Huz first and ended up deciding not to. It's refreshing to have it tart, we thought. We imagined putting it, all tart and warm, on oatmeal or ice cream. Yum!

This batch sat on the stovetop on low for quite a long while, waiting for The Huz to come home (more truck issues, life with a 79 Ford is a bit of an adventure) and it was none the worse for it.

This is my entry for Sweetnick's ARF 5-a-day Tuesday. Stop by later tonight to see what other anti-oxidant-rich foods are showing up in folks' recipes!

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