Applesauce, upgraded!Remember when you went apple picking last week? We do-and we're reminded of it every day when're encountered by mounds of the fruit taking over our pantries. We've made all sorts of apple treats-for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, drinks (the list goes on). So what to do? Make applesauce. It might be the obvious option, but our editors have some tips to spice it up-quite literally, in fact.
1. Gimme Some Skin
Don't waste time peeling apples, says food and features editor Carla Lalli Music. Just quarter them, slice out the cores, and drop them in a pot with a splash of water, a cinnamon stick, and maybe a little vanilla. Cover the pot and cook till the apples are mushy, then put them through a food mill to remove the skins. If the skins are red-toned, they'll add flavor and a pretty pink color.
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2. Reach for the Bottom of the Barrel
Use lumpy, bruised apples-since you're cooking them into a mush anyway, there's no reason to use perfect ones. Senior associate food editor Alison Roman says to check out the dollar bin at the farmers' market for fruit that's been tossed aside because of its appearance. And don't turn your nose up at all those weird, ugly, mangled varieties. They often taste better and are cheaper than their pricier, prettier friends.
3. Turn Up the Heat
Don't be afraid to add spice-real spice-to your applesauce. Test kitchen assistant Brad Leone uses cayenne pepper and grated ginger, which both play well with cinnamon and nutmeg. Another way to add heat? Deputy editor Scott Desimon adds a splash of whiskey to wake it up.
4. Sweeten Lowdown
Now's the time to experiment with different sweeteners: agave, maple, brown sugar, touch of molasses. Bonappetit.com editor Matt Gross likes to mix up his sweeteners, and sometimes experiment with funky-tasting honeys like buckwheat and wildflower that will give applesauce a surprising depth.
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For special projects editor Ashlea Halpern, nothing changes applesauce from baby mush to grown-up snack than mix-ins like dried cranberries, cherries, or golden raisins. Pepitas or toasted nuts are fair game, too.
6. Put a Pear on It
PEARS! They're in season, too, and Brad Leone thinks they're just as delicious when cooked down into a spice-filled, rich purée.
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