November 07, 2010

Easy Cranberry Applesauce (Well...Easy if you own a Food Mill)

While coastal North Carolina is lacking when it comes to things like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's (or people), it has a wonderful abundance of farm stands, where you can find everything from fruit and vegetables to homemade breads and cakes to farm-fresh eggs. This pleases me.

I kind of attacked the Winesap apple supply at our local farm stand the other day, because I tend to do things like impulsively buy twenty apples on Friday afternoons when a whole weekend's worth of meals lies before me. Then I got sidetracked by The Great Carb Fest of 2010, which I'll explain later, and didn't remember my apples until tonight.

I had also impulsively bought a bag of fresh cranberries, because I like to snack on them and it made me feel like fall might actually show up in Emerald Isle one day, despite the fact that it continues to be sunny and green here. I miss New England's leaves. And its grocery stores.

So I rediscovered the cranberries and and apples this evening, and decided to improvise a cranberry applesauce, because, again, I miss fall.

Cranberry Applesauce
  •  Fifteen sweet apples (not Granny Smith), cored and sliced (NOT peeled!)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
 1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine all ingredients and cook, uncovered, until the mixture is bubbling. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally for about an hour.

2. When the apples get kind of creepy and stewy and your whole house smells like a Yankee Candle store (either that or an hour passes), your applesauce is almost done.

3a. The next step is either to scoop the whole mixture into a sieve and try to press through as much of the applesauce as possible with the back of a wooden spoon, then puree the remainder in a food processor and then press that through a sieve, or...
3b. Buy a food mill, put the whole mixture through the food mill, and save up on elbow grease for the next time you make bread. The best part about this option is that it allows you to incorporate the apple peels, which have a ton of nutrients and flavor.

4. I chose option 3a, so this is a pretty picture of the second sieve-go-round being mixed into the first. Either way, season the finished product with more cinnamon or nutmeg to taste, and serve (preferably warm).

Here's my finished product:

I just love how pink the cranberries make this applesauce, and the hint of tartness that they add to balance out the apples' sweetness. If my arm weren't aching from acting as a human food processor, I might go get some more applesauce, but, as it is, I'm just going to keep sitting here on the couch.


1 comment:

  1. Mmm this looks delicious! I saw cranberries at a produce stand on my way home from work and have a food processor, so ex-pat Thanksgiving might be getting a new dish. No pie here, but we have to have something sweet!