Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
This week’s Southern Saturdays has given us an opportunity to sample Southern recipes from selected cookbooks with this week’s offering being from Essentials of Southern Cooking by Damon Lee Fowler.
This applesauce has simple ingredients as you can see below:
- 2 pounds fresh apples
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 lemon, halved
- ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom (to taste)
I used very fresh apples which I purchased from the local orchards that day. I prefer a mix of apples, and chose some of Ozark Gold, Spartan, and Grimes Golden apples. Apples in your area may differ greatly. I choose a variety of tart to sweet and spicy apples. One of the best apples for making sauce is the famous McIntosh, which when cooked, breaks down into a sauce naturally.
Spices Damon uses are to taste, and he mentions the variety above. I recommend using whatever you would use in a pie, with slightly less amounts. I also chose to add a touch of ginger and clove instead of cardamom, although cardamom is a very good choice.
Once the apples have simmered, the pulp is run through a foley food mill and the solids discarded.
The resulting sauce is then seasoned with spices of your choice and sweetener is added. Although Damon mentions sugar, I have made applesauce many times with substitutes both natural and artificial, such as Splenda, Stevia, and even honey. In this way you can customize the sauce to your own dietary needs.
Applesauce is easily chilled and served soon afterwards, but it can also be easily canned using a water-bath method (I suggest consulting a Ball Blue Book) for those times when you have a great quantity of apples, such as a bushel or peck.
I don’t share Damon’s full recipe here but if you are interested, it is for sale in many bookstores or you can opt to preview it in your public library.
For this recipe, I chose to serve the sauce as we would here in Ohio, since this is the land of Johnny Appleseed and we know all about making and using apples at harvest time. In true Autumn tradition I served it simply with a plate of pierogies and sour cream, braised sauerkraut, potatoes and roasted corn. A small green salad rounds out the meal.
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