When I was little, my grandma would babysit me along with my sister and cousins. She was probably the best cook I've ever known and I can safely say that I'm biased because everyone thinks their own grandma is the best cook. Well, I have one up on them because not only was (and still is) my grandma the best person, but she's Polish which, by default, makes the food that much better. Ok, enough of my favoritism...
One of the many dishes that my grandma would make on a regular basis was applesauce. I remember helping her peel and cut apples after school and being her taste-tester when the batch was just about done. She would make these giant pots full of applesauce and then can them for giving out to the entire family. She was cool like that. I haven't hit that canning stage yet so I tend to make my applesauce in batches that serve only a few. It's so easy to make that I'd rather eat it fresh every time.
I've sort of taken it upon myself to try to recreate a lot of her recipes so they don't just go away. Her food was so good that it would be a shame if no one kept her cooking traditions going. One thing I want to pass on is that applesauce. Well, not only the applesauce recipe itself, but the joy of cooking it. I've adapted the recipe a bit to reflect my lifestyle and my healthier outlook on eating though. My grandma would pack her applesauce full of sugar and I always thought it was way too sweet. I don't put any sugar in mine, but it's still very tasty and it brings back great memories when I make it. I hope to recreate those memories and make new ones for my son and myself. He's a little too young to help with the task of applesauce making right now, but in a couple years, I hope to have him in the kitchen with me, learning from me like I learned from my grandma, and growing a love for cooking and family.
Simple Homemade Applesauce
2 Granny Smith apples (I like the tartness of Granny Smith but you can use any kind of apple)
1 tsp butter
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1. Rough peel apples and cut into 1/4" to 1/2" pieces.
2. Melt butter in saucepan and let cook for about 1 minute or until it's almost browned.
3. Add apples and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Turn heat to low and add salt and sugar.
5. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir occasionally and mash a few pieces of apple each time you stir with the back of a spatula or wooden spoon.
6. During the last few minutes of cooking, mash the rest of the apples. I like to leave a few larger pieces for texture.
7. Allow to cool. Best served at room temperature.
This recipe can very easily be doubled, tripled, etc. Other types of fruit can also be added for enhanced flavor or variation. Keep an eye out for some of my flavored applesauce recipes later this fall.