Today’s delicious dish – Chunky Skillet Applesauce
Homemade applesauce is such a treat. Some of us were fortunate to have mothers and grandmothers who made applesauce, so we know how delicious it is. Although the applesauce I can buy in the store is plenty good, and it is certainly easy and cheap, I think homemade applesauce is worth the work and worth the extra cost, particularly on special occasions. When I have apples that have been around too long and become mushy, I often make them into applesauce to avoid wasting them.
This recipe will give you applesauce that is reminiscent of German Applesauce, with its subtle lemon flavor. Serving it warm allows all the flavors to really come through. I like to use an assortment of apples, which makes the flavor and texture more complex, but you should use any apples you have or want to buy. I usually start by using an apple cutter to divide each apple into 8 wedges. Then it is easy to peel off the skin and chop the apples. Dealing with apples can take longer than you would think, and they may start to brown. Don’t worry – it won’t matter to the finished product.
I think applesauce has a special affinity for pork, so I love to serve this applesauce as a warm side dish with pork chops and a starchy vegetable.
Chunky Skillet Applesauce
- 6 large apples (about 3 1/2 pounds total)
- 6 Tablespoons butter (3/4 stick)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 Tablespoons brandy
Core, peel, trim, and coarsely chop apples. Melt butter in large skillet. Add apples and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add brown sugar, salt, spices, lemon juice, and water. Mix well and continue to cook (uncovered) for 15 more minutes, stirring often. Apples should be smashable; if they are not, cook longer, adding another tablespoon of water, if necessary.
Remove mixture from skillet and put in a bowl. Add brandy. Using a potato masher or pastry blender, smash cooked apples to make a chunky applesauce. Return mixture to skillet and cook 5 more minutes, stirring often. Serve warm.
Makes about 4 cups of applesauce, or 8 one-half cup servings
Nutritional information (per serving): 185 calories, 8.5 grams fat, 5.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrate, 22 grams sugars, 2 grams fiber, 23 milligrams cholesterol, 210 milligrams sodium
Cost per serving: $1.00
Preparation time: 1 hour
What happens next?
This applesauce continues to be yummy – served cold or warm at another meal, or even warmed up and served with a scoop of ice cream (oh my!). Homemade applesauce will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator, and can be frozen.
I think pork and applesauce have a tasty friendship, so I add 1 serving of this chunky applesauce to ground pork and seasonings to make a nice homemade sausage.
Another day’s delicious dish – Pork Sausage Patties
This sausage has a nice hint of fruity sweetness and a mild mix of seasonings. The mixture can be difficult to shape into patties, but it won’t stick to your hands if you keep them lightly oiled. There’s no denying that homemade sausage takes more effort, but it is very delicious, and probably more wholesome, so I think it is a good choice. This sausage is great with breakfast, or in a sandwich.
You will want to mash up any apple chunks, to avoid having large pieces of apple in the sausage. If you want the apple to entirely disappear, process the applesauce in a food processor or food mill.
If you don’t have a serving of Chunky Skillet Applesauce saved, you can use any applesauce in this recipe. You may want to drain away some of the liquid that is often found in commercially-prepared applesauce – just put it in a fine-mesh strainer and let it sit for 10 minutes. You will be surprised how much liquid comes out.
Pork Sausage Patties
- 1 serving (about 1/2 cup) Chunky Skillet Applesauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon rubbed (ground) sage
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
Heat Chunky Skillet Applesauce in microwave for 1 minute, then mash up any large chunks of apple. Add salt and all other seasonings and stir until well combined. Add this mixture to ground pork and combine completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour (overnight is best). Lightly oil your hands and form into 12 patties – each about 3” across and less than 1/2” thick – each made from a scant 1/4 cup of the mixture. Heat olive oil in skillet. Fry sausage patties on medium-high heat until browned on both sides and cooked through.
Makes 12 sausage patties
Nutritional information (per sausage patty): 177 calories, 14 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 10 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams sugars, 0 grams fiber, 91 milligrams cholesterol, 245 milligrams sodium
Cost per serving: 60 cents
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Refrigeration time: 1 hour or more