Friday, October 16, 2009

Spicy Calvados Applesauce

Applesauce is one of those things that is so simple to make at home that it should be scratched off your grocery list for good. It goes without saying that homemade sauce is far superior to store-bought, particularly because of the complexity created by using different apple varieties, spices and flavors.

As I detailed in my apple chips post, I find apples and five-spice powder to be a match made in heaven. It works as a mysterious, subtle spice in applesauce also but feel free to substitute cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

I love the deluxe addition of the French apple brandy, Calvados. It imparts a richness without any overt alcohol flavor. Calvados is so good in so many things: pork dishes, whipped cream, brushed onto an apple tart, and so on. It's on the spendy side but I find that I use it sparingly so my bottle has lasted for quite a while.

If you don't want to go through the trouble of canning the applesauce, it can be portioned out into freezer bags or containers and frozen, for up to 6 months.

For about 5 pints:

  • 8 pounds apples (I used a combination of Haralson, Gala and Prairie Spy)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 - 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup Calvados

Peel and cut the apples into 2-inch chunks and add them to a large pot. Zest and juice the lemon over the apples.

Over medium-high heat, add the water and one cup of the sugar to the pot with the apples. Stir frequently until the apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and mash the apples with a potato masher until the desired consistency is reached. Stir in the five-spice powder, sea salt, and Calvados. Taste, and add up to a half cup more sugar depending on the desired level of sweetness. Stirring frequently to prevent scorching, raise the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a boil. Allow it to boil for one minute, stirring constantly, and then remove from the heat.

Have five sterilized pint canning jars ready. Fill the jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Run a plastic knife down the center of the jar and around the inside to remove any air bubbles. Process the jars in a lightly boiling water bath canner (about 200 degrees) for 20 minutes. Remove the jars from the water and set aside to cool for 24 hours before storing in a cool, dark location for up to a year.

For complete sterilization and canning procedures, click here.

7 comments:

~~louise~~ said...

Erin, they are simply heavenly globes of sunshine. The Calvados is a splendid idea. I use it often in when roasting pork. I'm not much of a canner so I am thrilled with the idea of freezing the applesauce. Splendid! Simple deliciousness...Thanks so much for sharing...

P.S. I plan on doing a post for National Apple Month. I do hope you don't mind if I include your link.

Erin, A Crafty Lass said...

Louise, I would be honored if you included my link! Thank you so much for your kind words.

Hilary said...

Talk about a pick-me-up at breakfast! I suppose this is more of an afternoon/evening applesauce :)

I agree with you about making your own. In fact, I have to if I want to have it for breakfast or for dessert - here in England store-bought applesauces are very chunky and designed only to go with pork.

~~louise~~ said...

Thank you so much Erin. Your recipe link fits in quite snuggly with a post I did today for National Brandied Fruit Day. Here's the link.

Thank you again for sharing and posting this heavenly recipe:)

Calamity Shazaam said...

I love to make applesauce. Somehow I ended up with a bag of lovely bright red apples that were kind of mealy tasting - a shame since the interior was bright white and crispy looking.

Anyway, I threw in the peel while the apples were cooking down and it gave the sauce a gorgeous deep pink color.

I shoulda put some calvados in it to really throw it over the top.

Rick said...

My sister mentioned that calvados helped her husband to ratchet up his sexual desire. She said it's like the Cialis Online and ever since her husband takes a daily dose of that he performs well.

Astrid said...

Just chanced upon your Spicy Calvados Applesauce recipe and as I have the remains of a glut of juicy 'Pink Lady' and 'Cybelle' apples desperate to be put to good use, plus some Calvados (my favourite). Out come my pan and wooden spoon within the hour.

Love growing, cooking then eating our own produce - it just gets better and better. Many thanks for the recipe.
Astrid.