Yesterday I saw these apples at a discount. They were big and awkward looking, with peels that bore tiny nicks and sunspots, even a few bruises. I looked at them and thought: Chanukah is coming up. I’m going to be needing plenty of applesauce for latkehs. So I brought them home and went to work. It’s risky buying class B fruit, but these apples were firm and sweet inside.
Yield: 4 3/4 -5 cups
1.5 kg. apples. Tart green apples are best, but any variety will do.
1/4 cup sugar. Use brown for a deeper taste, white for a lighter color
1 stick of cinnamon
1 slice of lemon if apples are sweet rather than tart.
Peel the apples, if you are so minded. As I blend them when done, I just pare away anything unslightly and leave the most of the peel on for a chunky texture.
Dribble a tablespoon or two of water into the cooking pot. This is just to keep the apple slices from scorching initially.
Put the apples in, and put the sugar, cinnamon and optional lemon slice on top.
Start cooking over a medium flame. About 5 minutes later, you’ll hear a dry, scorching sound. Just stir a few times to help release juices.
Cook, turning the apples over ever so often, for 15 minutes. It will start looking soupy in there, but the apple pulp will re-absorb the juice eventually.
Taste for sweetness, and if it’s not sweet enough for your taste, add sugar by tablespoons. Remember, it will taste sweeter when it cools down. Cook a further 30 minutes.
Remove the optional lemon slice, and allow the applesauce to cool. Hunt for any stray apple or lemon seeds; remove the cinnamon stick.
Blend or mash the applesauce. If the apples weren’t peeled, it’s best to blend in the appliance of your choice.
Serve as a topping for latkehs, or yoghurt, or rice pudding, or next to cake, or just alone in a bowl, with a sprinkling of powdered cinnamon.