Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Apples Are The Things I Give To You
Fall is my favorite season. I have a romantic obsession with it that, I am sure, has very little to do with the literal progression of its hours and days. Much more to do with a sudden change in the quality of evening light, the crispness of the air, the necessity for sweaters (depending on where you live), and—above all—a thing that neatly summarizes all of these characteristics inside a conveniently sized, attractively colored shape: Apples! Fall is the season for apples...Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Granny Smith, Macintosh. The list goes on and spectacularly on. As I recently learned, there is no better way to bask in the sweet glow of apple variety than a trip to your local apple orchard, where pick-your-own is a standard option during peak season.
There are a lot of things people can do with freshly picked, in-season apples, apple pie being the go-to, so I decided to break from tradition and go a route that reeked of possible boredom and blandness. I cooked down my batch of apples and made applesauce. I know. However, a batch of freshly cooked, still-warm applesauce is surprisingly satisfying on a fall day. Here's how I made mine:
4-6 apples, peeled and cored
3/4 cup of water
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
It is best to cut up the peeled and cored apples into smaller chunks before cooking them down. It speeds up the process and they are easier to mash later. Once your apples are prepped, combine them with the water in a large saucepan over medium heat. (You can subsitute apple juice for water just to get the ball rolling if you want.) Cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the apples are mushy and soft enough to be easily pierced by a fork. After allowing the mixture to cool for a bit, mash it to an approriate level between smooth and extra-chunky based on your preference. This is a good time to add more cinnamon, if you're into that kind of thing (I certainly am).
As a finishing touch, I like to add a handful of graham cracker crumbles to the top. It's sort of in the same spirit as granola on yogurt.