Sunday, November 9, 2008

The week of Halloween, I tried to make caramel sauce and failed twice. Part of the problem is that I don't have a candy thermometer because I am a combination of lazy and stubborn, so I kept burning the sugar. Also, I think that my stove is old and ghetto and the heat is not consistent. Regardless, I am a little cocky and not particularly accustomed to such utter failure in the kitchen, especially not twice in a row. It was quite demoralizing. I had a couple Halloween parties to go to last weekend, and my brilliant plan was to bring sliced apples and homemade caramel sauce and be a hero. I went out and bought something ridiculous like 5 pounds of golden delicious apples for this plan and then stunk up my apartment with two nasty batches of unsuccessful caramel sauce. I rallied and brought Greek cheese plates to my party instead, but had a huge bag of apples to deal with and dispose of. Solution? Applesauce.

Amazing homemade applesauce starts with five or six apples, peeled, cored, and chopped up into pieces about the size of pencil erasers. Dump all your chopped apples into a big saucepan and put about a cup of water into the pan. Cover, turn the stove heat to medium, and let the apples sweat for about 15 minutes. Remove the lid and add between 1 and 3 tablespoons of of cinnamon, sugar and vanilla extract. Simmer the apples until the water is evaporated and the apples are soft and saucy. Mash some of the residual chunks against the side of the pan, and you could puree with an immersion blender, but I don't own crap like that and even if I did, I wouldn't want to wash it.

Applesauce is delicious hot or cold, plain or garnished with nonfat yogurt, mixed into oatmeal or shared with your friends and coworkers. Also, as an extra bonus, it smells like Christmas which is three quarters of what I'm looking for this time of year.

1 comment:

Anna said...

This sounds nothing short of incredible. Also, candy thermometers are among the fussiest of kitchen gadgets, in my opinion.