As you may know from an earlier post, we harvested a good number of apples considering we are just two people to feed, and the fact that all but one tree is just a few year old.
Today, I decided to try my hand at applesauce. How hard could that be? Not At All!
I used my Instant-Pot pressure cooker. Eight minutes later – applesauce! And, it’s “organic” (not certified, but nothing ever touched these apples but rain and sun.)
Peel and core the apples – that was the longest step, but I enjoyed it because I told myself it wasn’t “work” it was love.
I put the slices into water containing some lime juice. I didn’t have lemon juice that is typically recommended.
And, rather than ordinary cinnamon that is usually suggested, I added Garam Masala. It’s a cinnamon based spice blend that also contains cardamom seeds, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper corns (there are other versions which contain other spices, as well.) It’s spicy but not hot. The name translates to “warming spices.” To me, its bolder and less sweet tasting than traditional “apple pie spice.” Garam Masala provides a lovely depth of flavor in just about any culinary application where you might use cinnamon.
The entire recipe is comprised of apples, a small amount of water, a dash of lime or lemon juice and cinnamon or Garam Masala! Add it all to the Instant Pot, give it a bit of a stir, and set the pressure for eight minutes. When it’s done, you may use the quick release method or you can let it slowly come down to normal pressure. I did the quick release because I couldn’t wait. You may want to us a masher, if you don’t like the small chunks. And if you prefer a very smooth apple sauce, I suppose you can give it a whirl in a food processor. To me, what I poured out of the Instant Pot was perfection.
I ate it warm – well, actually hot because I was that impatient. With a splash of heavy cream, it would have been the perfect, decadent desert. But, I left the cream for the morning coffee. The applesauce actually didn’t require anything to enhance its deliciousness. In fact, I am finding it difficult to call it applesauce because we all have a childhood memory of that product – and it most often contained quite a bit of sugar. This version is tangy and only as sweet as nature intended apples to be.
The litmus test for anything I might prepare for the first time is to get Robert to actually try it. He’s a straight up meat and potatoes guy, with a little Spam tossed in for good measure. During our marriage I have introduced him to actual fresh fish – rather than canned or pulverized and coated fish-sticks found in the freezer isle. I have watched him try oysters, crab – which he actually really loves, now – and various vegetables, including Brussels sprouts which he now enjoys roasted in olive oil (not the mushy boiled version – but who likes those anyway?) When I first asked him to give my applesauce a taste, Robert told me he had some chores to do. But, ten minutes later he walked into my office with a bowl in his hand and a spoon in his mouth. He was humming.
While he was eating it, he even had his eyes closed! I typically only do that when I eat really good Sushi! So, the applesauce passed the Robert test!
I only made a small batch, but I think I will whip up another, larger batch tomorrow and freeze it in portions that make sense to our needs. It’s strange to say it, but making this applesauce actually made me feel happy for so many reasons. I guess that is why it tastes like love.