Not too sweet, not too tart, and, not too spiced, makes the combined flavors of Chunky Applesauce just right. Well, according to my taste, that is, and maybe your taste too.
Like my mom’s recipe for turkey stuffing, today’s recipe for chunky applesauce shares the distinction among those special recipes that I never alter when it comes to the Thanksgiving feast. Maybe you have some holiday recipes that share this type of special distinction too.
Always having apple cider on hand from the local Ziegler’s Orchard each fall, Aunt Betty prepared her applesauce from the juice of the jug instead of using water and I do the same, gently mashing the apples right in the pot as they soften to just the perfect tenderness.
This year, though I’m not one for keeping around a lot of excess kitchen gadgets, I had a yearning for the old fashioned apple corer/ peeler that Aunt Betty used to have. You know, those stainless, metal type gadgets that you wind up like a screw, clasping between the width of a table then with a cranked swirl the peeeeel rolls off the bright skins into big, long colorful strips.
Aunt Betty likely asked me if I wanted hers as she passed along those items no longer necessary to her, and I probably foolishly declined. Not the least bringing on the nostalgia of this tool was the fact that my current peeler, one of those swivel do-dads, proved just plain difficult in the apple prepping process. The swivel peeler is not my idea of a good kitchen tool, in fact, I find it the worst, and am doing my best to figure out its exact benefit since it seems to swivel right off anything I attempt from potatoes and turnips to carrots.
Once peeled, so easy to prepare, this fresh apples side dish also provides for freezing in advance, simply defrosting in your refrigerator a couple days ahead where you can warm it gently or serve it chilled.
Now, one of the special parts of the applesauce preparation for me begins in choosing from different types of red and green apple varieties, those many picked by my grandson, the J-Dude, from our fall apple picking day together. This seasons chosen area orchard, Frecon Farms in Boyertown, Pennsylvania.
I love their logo, whose silhouette reminds me of a grandfather hoisting his grandson up, up, up high enough to pick from the sturdy branch of a big ole apple tree, timeless. Frecon Farms proved a good pick with plentiful choice apple varieties and spectacular views surrounding the densely packed orchard area.
Pumpkins, dotted the Frecon Farms orchard area along with an outdoor pizza oven and weathered farm stand truck selling selections of their popular homemade hard ciders. Surrounded by mountains of trees whose leaves gave way to the multi- colored hues of fall along the winding pathways our apple picking day memories out at the orchard now continue on to our Thanksgiving feast.
An old time recipe, unaltered, just like my Mom’s Turkey Stuffing. Not too sweet, not too tart, and, not too spiced, just right, the flavor of Chunky Applesauce.
Applesauce may be frozen two weeks in advance of serving, defrosted in the refrigerator one or two days before use.
- 10 apples, mixed varieties
- 1/2 lemon, juiced, seeds removed
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup apple cider
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Add lemon juice to a large glass bowl
- Peel and core apples, cut into larger size chunks dropping them into the glass bowl tossing now and again with the lemon juice
- Once apples are cut, tilt the brown sugar over the cut apples in the bowl and toss throughout
- Pour the apple cider into a heavy pot large enough to hold the apples, then tumble in the apple mixture, cooking on the very lowest heat
- Cook apples for about an hour until apples are soft. Using a plastic masher, mash the apples with collected juices all together. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and nutmeg, stir, cook another minute, turn off heat and let come to room temperature before chilling.