Monday, November 21, 2011

Roasted Spiced Applesauce

Roasted Spiced Applesauce | www.girlichef.com
I kid you not, this is the most sought out item on our Thanksgiving table.  Applesauce!  Perhaps it's that I only make this version once per year.  Okay, sometimes twice.  But it's first appearance every year is at Thanksgiving.  The kids clamor around the kitchen, eagerly awaiting the bonus-licks left on the bowl and the spoon during its creation.  They shower me with love, affection, and puppy dog eyes in hopes an advance bowl full.  Unsuccessfully.  It's like a game.  That I always win. {mwaaa haaa haaa haaaa...} I don't know.  I just love the anticipation.  And the reward of seeing those dreams of buttery apples and spice dancing in their heads come to fruition!  

Don't worry (I know you were sweatin'), I don't deprive them of applesauce throughout the year.  Just this particular version.  It's tradition, after all.  It's not just the kids that ask for this, either...oh no.  I know some adults who quiver with anticipation at the mention of it, as well.  Yours truly, included.  I'm not much for regular old applesauce.  I mean sure, I like it.  But I don't crave it.  This stuff is complex.  It's smooth and buttery and just the scent of it conjures up visions of chilly days and warm blankets.

Roasted Spiced Applesauce | www.girlichef.com
My favorite way to eat it is warm.  It's just as good at room temperature or even cold from the fridge, but just imagine a warm pool of it nestled on a plate amidst your turkey and cranberries and stuffing and potatoes and gravy and green beans and warm dinner roll.  Oh. YES.
Roasted Spiced Applesauce | www.girlichef.com
Roasted Spiced Applesauce

by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
Keywords: roast side sauce nut-free vegetarian soy-free apples Thanksgiving American fall

Ingredients (2.5 quarts)
  • ½ c. water
  • ½ c. packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 4 Tbs. (2 oz.) butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 lbs. assorted apples, halved
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • a good heap of freshly grated nutmeg
Instructions
Preheat oven to 425° F. Add water, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt to the bottom of a large roasting pan; stir around a bit. Scatter the butter over the mixture and then top with the apple halves.

Slide into preheated oven and roast until apples are very soft, ~35-45 minutes. Move the apples around halfway through cooking time to help with even cooking.

Working in batches, send the apples and all of the juices in the roasting pan through a food mill into a large bowl. Stir in the spices. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

note:
If you don't have a food mill, then core the apples before roasting, as well. When they are finished cooking, place them in a food processor with their liquid and process until smooth (in batches, if necessary). Place a sieve over large bowl and press the mixture through the sieve, leaving the skins behind.
Roasted Spiced Applesauce | www.girlichef.com