It's Friday and the perfect time, I think, to leave you with two super simple and delicious apple recipes for the weekend! Let's start with plum applesauce. I'm not typically a huge fan of applesauce on its own. Sure, I'll use it in baking, but not generally as a part of a meal. However, this applesauce is the exception to that rule. I halved the recipe below and finished the entire batch within a week! It was terrific with both chicken and pork. I used Italian prune plums along with Macintosh apples and something about the addition of those plums makes this applesauce a star - so fragrant, colorful and delicious!
from Gourmet, September 2006 (via Epicurious.com)
2 lb Gala or Macintosh apples, quartered and seeded (left unpeeled) (I used Macintosh)
2 lb red or black plums, quartered and pitted (I used Italian prune plums)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
Cook all ingredients in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until fruit is very tender and falling apart, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Force mixture through a large medium-mesh sieve using a rubber spatula, discarding peels. The applesauce will keep, covered and chilled, for 1 week.
Yield: 6 cups
Next up is homemade apple cider. I actually tried this recipe because I needed apple cider for these doughnuts and figured since I had a ton of apples, why not try my hand at making my own. This recipe was super easy to throw together and though it takes some time, most of it is not hands-on. My results were mixed. The flavor and fragrance of the cider was absolutely wonderful, but my yield was very low. I'll definitely try making cider again sometime as the minimal effort required was definitely worth the result.
Homemade Apple Cider
10-12 medium apples
1/2-1 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of your apples & personal taste preferences)
3-4 cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg
Wash and quarter the apples - don't worry about peeling or removing the seeds from the apples. Toss the apples into a large stock pot. Add the sugar and spices and then enough water to cover.
Bring to a boil and boil uncovered for one hour. Turn down the heat, cover and allow to simmer for at least two hours. Using a potato masher, mash the contents of the pot. Allow to cool.
Once cool, strain over a pitcher or pot. If desired, you can put the pulp into a cheesecloth and squeeze to remove even more of the juice. Store the cider in the refrigerator and reheat (in the microwave or on the stove) before serving.