Whether you pick your own at an orchard or shop at your local farmers’ market, it’s hard to resist bringing home a big bag of crisp apples when they’re at their peak. Here’s one way to use ’em up: Make applesauce. This recipe is from The Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farm by Sam Beall, the second cookbook from the award-winning resort in the foothills of Tennessee’s Smokey Mountains known for its farm-to-table focus on cuisine of the region.
(Makes 5 to 6 cups)
At one time, more than 1,500 varieties of apples flourished in the South, many of which were particularly well suited to the growing conditions found in the mountains and foothills. Most apples were grown for a specific purpose, such as for making vinegar, squeezing for juice, fermenting for cider, distilling into brandy, drying for long storage, and cooking into thick sauces and apple butter. Few apples were eaten raw and then only after as many as possible had been transformed into something that would keep or, in the case of vinegar and brandy, that would aid in the preservation of other foods. Apples were relatively easy to grow and were so indispensable that most mountain farm families kept small orchards.
I prefer chunky applesauce, but instructions are included for a smoother sauce.
- 8 medium, tart apples, such as Stayman Winesap or Jonagold (about 3 pounds total)
- 1 cup unfiltered apple cider
- Juice of 2 lemons
1. Peel, core, and cube the apples and place in a medium saucepan with the cider and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender and begin to collapse into a thick stew, about 30 minutes.
2. With a fork, mash the apples into a chunky sauce, or force them through a food mill or puree in a blender for a smooth applesauce. Serve warm or let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate until chilled.
Here’s a recipe for Blackberry Farm’s Pecan Brussels Sprouts from our friends at The Recipe Club.
Win a copy of The Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farm: Tweet your favorite farm-to-table fall dish and use #BBLFallGiveaway. We’ll choose one lucky winner on Friday morning, 10/26/12.