The key to making delicious applesauce, says butcher Erika Nakamura, is using fresh apples and adding enough lemon juice to offset their sweetness. Adding Chinese five-spice allows for a more savory flavor, which is ideal when serving the applesauce alongside roast meats.
Slideshow:More Apple Recipes
3 allspice berries
3 whole cloves
1/2 tablespoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
6 Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
6 McIntosh apples—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
7 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Flaky sea salt
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Wrap the allspice, cloves, fennel seed, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick and star anise in a small piece of cheesecloth. Using twine, tie the cheesecloth into a bundle.
In a large bowl, toss the apples with 6 tablespoons of the lemon juice and the brown sugar. In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter. Add the apples and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to let off moisture, about 5 minutes. Put the spice bundle in the pot, cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the apples have softened.
Discard the spice bundle. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the apples, season with sea salt and stir until a chunky sauce forms. Scrape the applesauce into a bowl and serve warm or cover and refrigerate until chilled.
The applesauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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