I was inspired to make this sauce after reading wellfed's blog, who was inspired by a Martha recipe. most people who have received this sauce from me have returned their jars within a day. they say that they have a bite to taste it, intending to serve it after dinner, but then end up eating the entire jar! it's spicy, sweet, satisfying and reminiscent of the holidays and excellent if heated slightly and served over really good vanilla ice cream or yogourt. —thefood
about 10 small jars
apples of your choosing. I would suggest whatever is in season at the time (I recently used a blush gala apple which was devine)
apple cider or juice
Brown Sugar. If you would like a more spicy & less sweet sauce, reduce to 8. If your apple is very sweet, also reduce.
juice of 2
1 1/2 teaspoons
freshly grated nutmeg
really good vanilla (as ina would say)
vanilla beans (optional - but totally worth it)
lemon juice (to add to water to keep apples from browning)
You will also require: 8-12 mason jars with lids (depending on the sizes you choose) and most likely vanilla ice cream or frozen yogourt mmmm
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Peel & core apples & cut into chunks about 1" X 1" in size. Place into a large bowl filled with cold water and lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon's worth of juice per 8 apples)
In a large roasting pan (I sometimes split into two small roasting pans), add the apple cider or juice, honey, brown sugar, lemon juice, spices & salt. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean pod in as well and whisk all ingredients to combine. Toss the apples until they are coated with mixture. Cut vanilla pod lengthwise down the spine and place one piece on each side of the roasting pan and place in oven. Roast until the apples are very soft (about 45 minutes). NOTE: I prefer to have some chunks left in my applesauce, so I roast until the corners of the chunks are still in tact when you mash them. If you prefer smooth applesauce, roast a little longer than that.
Remove from oven and let cool for about 10-15 minutes. Use a form to mash apples until you have reached your desired consistency. At this point you can serve the applesauce hot if you wish.
Let applesauce cool completely before spooning into your chosen storage vessels (I really like to use small, jam sized jars with lids as they are easy and elegant to give as gifts). For presentation's sake, I add one of the vanilla bean pod halves to the jars standing straight up on the side of the jar. This sauce keeps in the refridgerator for about a week and can be frozen as it thaws nicely.
TIP: Depending on the type of apple you use, after roasting there may be a lot of liquid in the pan. Since I prefer a chunky applesauce, I usually drain the liquid into a pot and heat over medium until the liquid reduces into a thick sauce that can be poured over ice cream, yogourt or even used in other recipes (granola, baked goods, etc).