Most people think of applesauce as a sweet, almost dessertlike condiment. And it can be. But I prefer a neutral approach that allows for savory seasonings. . A food mill is the easiest way to go and produces the best applesauce, because the skins lend both their flavor and color and there’s no need to do the up-front work. If you don’t have one, you must core and peel the apples before cooking. Make as much as your time and the size of your pot allows by doubling or tripling the quantity. Applesauce freezes well and is handy when packed in small containers. Other fruits you can use: pears or cantaloupe.
5 pounds apples, preferably a mixture of varieties
MAKES: About 2 quarts
TIME: About 1 hour, largely unattended
- Cut the apples in half or, if they’re very large, into quarters. If you don’t have a food mill, peel and core. Put about 1/2 inch of water and a pinch of salt in the bottom of a large pot and add the apples. Cover and turn the heat to medium.
- When the water begins to boil, uncover the pot.
- Cook, stirring occasionally and lowering the heat if the mixture threatens to burn on the bottom, until the apples break down and become mushy, at least 30 minutes.
- Let sit until cool enough to handle.
- If you have a food mill, pass the mixture through it, discarding the solids that stay behind. If not, mash if you lik