Saturday, October 11, 2014

Vanilla Bean Maple Applesauce

 Left is purred, Right is left fairly chunky and with a dash ground cinnamon

This is not the kind of applesauce you typically get in the store, for good reason. Now I could have gotten an excellent jarred sauce from the stand where I bought the apples, or the other good apple vendor next to them, but I wanted homemade applesauce. Now that I have it out of my system, I'll pick up a jar or two once these are polished off. That shouldn't take too long. 

This is also not typical in that it is both sweet and tart. Normally, I would use straight cider and cut the sugar significantly but I decided to use ACV. I could use the excuse that people talk all the time about how good ACV is for you but really I didn't want to buy a container of cider for sauce. I like how it turned out and will go with this version again. The wider range of flavors make for a more complex applesauce and will perfect to add to baked oatmeal, boiled oats, applecake, quick breads, mini pies, parfaits... I need to get baking.

For ~12 cups (depending on texture) You Need:

6 lbs apples, mixed (I used Cortland and Honeycrisp in almost equal parts, wish I used slightly more Cortland)
Scant 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup maple syrup (Grade A or B, but definitely use the real stuff))
3 T lemon juice
2 vanilla beans, halved and scraped
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/4 cups Apple Cider Vinegar (use 3/4 cup cider for less tart applesauce, also cut the sugar a bit)

1. Chop the apples into similar sizes, larger (3/4-1") chunks for chunky applesauce, smaller (<1/2") for smoother applesauce
2. Combine all ingredients in a large pot (I divided this into two batches since we have different preferences.) Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until soft. Stir occasionally.
3. Remove the sticks and bean pod. Keep the stove on low to let some of the extra liquid cook off.
4. Mash slightly for chunky, mash completely for smooth then puree. I used an immersion blender, probably could have forgone the pre-mash but I needed it anyway for the chunky batch. 

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