Homemade applesauce is quite simple. It's a great condiment to adorn any holiday table and goes well with turkey and ham and all things mashed potatoes and stuffing. The simple addition of fresh cranberries and minced ginger spice up this festive recipe for a festive holiday presentation. Try to use a variety of apples and always include one Yellow Delicious. Look for ginger sold in larger packages, not the small ridiculously-priced spice jars.
- 4 apples (about 2 lbs.) peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, picked over
- 1/2 - 1 cup sugar (white or a combination of light brown)
- 1/4 cup apple juice or water, but not more
- 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 3-inch strip of lemon zest removed with vegetable peeler
- 1 tablespoon well-chopped, crystallized ginger
- 1/16 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional, but good if serving warm or with pancakes)
In a heavy saucepan, cook the apples, cranberries, sugar, apple juice or water, cinnamon stick, lemon and ginger over moderate heat, stirring until apples are soft, 15-25 minutes. Cranberries will have "popped" turning mixture pink.
Remove from heat and discard lemon zest and cinnamon stick. Place in food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste. Add butter and vanilla. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. Place in bowl and, if desired, sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve warm or cold. Refrigerate leftovers.