Recipe: Roasted Applesauce

Your life may never be the same after reading this.  Just thought I’d warn you because Oh My Gosh.  Our house feels like heaven.

I sort of went overboard at the farmer’s market.  The organic apples were really cheap (1.99 a kilo, which is less than a buck a pound), and I managed to wedge thirty of the suckers into my bike basket between the yogurt and soy milk.  I had all these visions of tasty autumn foods baking in our oven like pies and cobblers, and I was extra careful on the cobblestone streets so that I wouldn’t bruise my new treasures.  Never mind that our kitchen is being remodeled and the only counter space was a built-in sink drainer.  I felt the temptation of Eve.

I decided to start with something simple: apple sauce.  Thirty apples and a couple of days later, that’s where we finished.

Homemade applesauce is in a league of it’s own.  I can’t even tell you how amazing it tastes.  Martin can’t either; he’s too busy stuffing his face.  The taste reminds us of apple pie.  We eat it cold.  We eat it warm.  Breakfast, snack, dinner.  Whenever!  All I know is that we still haven’t gotten to pies and cobblers.  We may never get to them.  Homemade applesauce is our soul food.

Once you try making your own, you might not be able to ever return to the store-bought stuff.  The image of bruised and massacred apples in a store bought jar that tastes, I don’t know, a little like metallic mush versus the heaven coming from your oven?  There’s just no comparison.

Plus it’s so dang easy.  If you’re interested in changing your life – it’s almost a lazy man’s life changer, really – try making some of your own.  I adapted a recipe in Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s absolutely fabulous cookbook imported in my suitcase from the US, Vegan with a Vengeance, to something like this:

Roasted Applesauce

3 pounds of McIntosh or other apples (That’s about 10 apples – I kind of just keep chopping apples until my dish is full to be honest)
juice of one lemon (if I have it)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
dash of cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, ginger, or whatever sounds tasty 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Mix oil, maple syrup, spices, and, if necessary, a couple tablespoons of sugar in a glass baking dish.  Isa also adds allspice, which I haven’t found in Germany.  But hey – it’s not a cake or anything.  You can bend the rules on this one. (swoon goes my expat heart)

Peel and chop apples to 1-inch chunks, adding to mixture with squeezes of lemon juice.  Mix and go lock your door.  The aroma fills your house.  And in our case, kind of fills the neighbors’, too.  Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, turning halfway through, so that apples are tender.

Mash for chunky applesauce.  Pulse in a blender or food processor for smooth applesauce.  Unlock door so husband can get into house.

(Image from yumsugar)