Friday, September 03, 2021


I always start my canning in late August and early September, simply because that is what my family has always done, and I do cherish that tradition. Late summer and early autumn also offer an incredible abundance of beautiful fruit, apples being the first of them. Crisp, fragrant, and sweet, apples are always welcome in many recipes.
Applesauce is one of those wonderful condiments that truly allow absolute adaptation to one's own tastes and preferences. And not even just in sampling, even in preparation. It can be puréed only once, or even two times, depending on the desired texture, and it can also be only lightly mashed with a wooden spoon or a potato masher; and all of the spices are to be adjusted to your liking. Add a clove or two, if you like, perhaps more cinnamon, or even orange zest.
It can be made with so many different apple varieties, and will always be perfect. Made from tarter, green apples, it will be divine even with savoury meals, and made from the sweet, red varieties, it can be a wonderful dessert all on its own.
One other thing I highly value is that it is also a very good way of preserving apples that are older and perhaps not as tempting to enjoy on their own. Even the ones that have fallen and have imperfections.
Truly, it is a staple. Hearty, wholesome, delicious, and sustainable, I consider it essential, both in the cupboard and in recipes. It is perfect as a dessert sauce, main meal side, even breakfast or snack addition, with some vanilla yoghurt and a few berries. The possibilities are limitless.
Furthermore, because apples are naturally high in sugar, applesauce typically does not require any sweeteners, although a drop of honey can be added for flavouring. And on a final note, if you like, you can very easily turn this silky sauce into apple butter, just by simmering it a little bit longer over medium-low heat.

3 kilograms apples, peeled and cored
200 millilitres unsweetened apple juice
15 grams dandelion honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest

Prepare the apples by peeling and coring them, and then cutting them into quarters. Take a large, heavy-bottomed pot, set the heat to medium-high, and add in the apples and the apple juice. Partially cover the pot, and let them cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30-45 minutes, or until the apples can be mashed easily with a wooden spoon.
Remove the pot from the heat and very carefully blend them up using an immersion blender. If using a regular blender, let the mixture cool down slightly, and be even more careful and mindful of the possible splashing of hot liquid while blending.
Once blended and smooth, return the pot to the heat, and add in the honey, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and the vanilla bean paste. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook the applesauce for about 30-45 minutes, up to one hour, until it thickens to your liking, stirring somewhat regularly. Keep in mind that it can splash while cooking.
When it reaches the right consistency, it can be puréed once more, if desired. Finally, stir in the lemon juice and zest, and remove from the heat. Let it cool down for about 10 minutes, and fill the prepared, sterilised jars. Keep refrigerated, of course. Yields roughly 1.3 kilograms, depending on the length of cooking.

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