Monday, November 22, 2010


The dog days of summer being long gone, I now turn on my toaster oven and electric skillet with reckless abandon. An open window whisks steam out into the cold night air, my hair no longer goes curly every time I cook, and at eight or nine at night whipping up some banana bread or applesauce seems like a natural way to end the day. I welcome the warmth.

Growing up in a log house only amplified the glory of fall and on chilly nights, there was nothing better than popping open a jar of my mom's homemade applesauce and getting to work with nutmeg and a grater. 

When it comes to store bought applesauce vs. homemade there is no comparison. One tastes like mealy, sugar-water and the other a rich sweet-tart snack. Applesauce is the easiest thing to make, it will impress your friends and is the perfect way to use up apples that have lost their crunch. I eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it's best still warm, straight out of the pot.


7 or 8 apples (smokehouse, winesap, macintosh or any good baking apple)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of water
a colander, strainer or food mill

Quarter and core the apples discarding all seeds but leaving the skins on (they add color and flavor). Put them in a pot (I used my rice cooker on the slow cook setting) add the water, cover and gently cook over a medium-low flame for anywhere between half an hour and an hour until the apples cook down and the skins begin to melt. Stir every now and then, you don't want the apples to burn. I like my applesauce a little thick so towards the end of your cooking time, uncover the pot to let some of the water cook out. Then, rest a colander or strainer or food mill over a large bowl and pour in the cooked apples. With the back of a ladle or a wooden spoon, begin to stir and push the apples through until only the skins are left. And now you have applesauce! It's delicious warm with a little grated nutmeg on top.


  1. We tried this for Thanksgiving (what's one more dish to crank out?) and it worked out really well (even though my apples were so past their prime that I was dubious). We plopped them in the slow cooker overnight and reduced the next morning. Perfect - and the color was gorgeous! Thanks, Erica!