Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Recipes Visited: Grandma Esther's Pink Applesauce

I followed a link for a contest to get a copy of Martha Rose Shulman's new cookbook, and ended up getting stuff from an on-line site called "Zester".  And there I read a ridiculous piece about making applesauce.

OF COURSE, you either have to buy your apples in a green market, or a local farm stand or know someone with their own apples. Heaven forfend you should go and buy a bag in your supermarket.  And forget it if you don't have the right apples purchased only at the moment they're in season!

Gott in himmel, if I followed this food snot's rules, my kids would never get applesauce. And considering the economy and the recent NY Times article about how Americans are not getting enough fruits and vegetables, and how many comments there were about how hard it is to prep fruits and vegs and how they don't taste good, shouldn't we be ENCOURAGING people to go to the supermarket and buy a 3 pound bag of apples,bring them home and give their families homemade applesauce?

My grandma Esther lived on 181st Street in the Bronx, far from farmer's markets, let alone farms. She made this sauce from the apples she bought in the local supermarket. My mom makes this same sauce,also with supermarket apples. McIntosh apples, the best kind for applesauce.

Pink applesauce is easy to make!
And while I do go apple picking in the fall and to the farmer's market most Sundays, the applesauce I make with the bagged apples from Wegman's or Giant is lapped up by my girls and wins oohs and aahs from everyone who eats it at my Hanukkah parties.
An apple corer/slicer makes prepping the apples a snap-I once made a video of SC slicing 8 POUNDS worth of apples at the holidays in about 5-10 minutes!  They get tossed in the pot and simmer till they fall apart, with a little water or cider added to help them along. And then the food mills presses out a smooth sauce that usually gets some nice pink color from the skins.

Simple enough for me to do with preschoolers--though at the library I have to cook the sauce in a microwave instead of on the stove top. Smooth and sweet--it needs little to no sugar.Appealing to kids, from babies to teens. Healthy, even if it isn't made with designer apples. And affordable enough for just about anyone. 

Grandma would've thought the Zester people were a bunch of meshuggenehs. So do I for that matter.
And I think she'd have loved to see her great-granddaughters loving their pink applesauce!

Grandma Esther's Pink Applesauce
3 pounds of apples (Preferable McIntosh. Rome or Jonathan are subs, but not as good)
1/2-1 cup of apple cider or water(I generally use water)
sugar (if needed)

Use a knife or an apple corer/slicer to core and slice the apples--if using a knife, cut them into cored quarters. The finer they are cut, the faster they will cook. Don't peel them!

Put the apples in a large pot like a dutch oven. Add 1/2 cup water or cider. Bring to a boil,then reduce to a simmer.

Simmer until the apples become very soft. Add more cider/water if needed, but not too much--the apples give off their own liquid.

Place apples into a food mill over a large bowl and process them through the mill. Remove some of the skins as you go so that the mill will work more easily.
Taste the applesauce and if needed add sugar, a small amount at a time to taste.

The sauce color will vary depending on your apples--sometimes it is bright pink, sometimes pale, sometimes closer to yellow.
Chill if possible before eating-this tastes best cold.

1 comment:

  1. I am an old gal who has been around the block a few times. We always loved the applesauce warm with a little cinnamon. Mom made her own bread and we would toast it and butter it and dollop the applesauce on top! Delish!



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