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Posts Tagged ‘apples’

Chunky Applesauce

My friend Margaux, shared her family’s recipe for applesauce on her blog, Sweet and Savory Kitchens, a couple of weeks back and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about applesauce, since. The smell in your kitchen and that unremarkable old-fashioned taste, just reminds me of being a kid, for some reason. My mom must have made applesauce when we were kids. I would like to have homemade applesauce simmering on the stove everyday during Autumn, just so I could enjoy that lovely smell.

Applesauce is a great way to use up the apples that are maybe a bit too bruised and dinged up or that may have started to get a bit softer. We went apple picking a few weeks back and I was a feeling bit “appled-out”, I think I may have eaten one too many whole apples, so I thought this would be a great way to use up the last of them. This applesauce is great on its own as a side dish, it’s a wonderful and healthy snack or dessert, you can serve it over vanilla ice cream or yogurt, spread it on toast and you can eat it warm or cold. It’s just a great homestyle dish that is incredibly easy to make.

I like the flavor from the spices and how it pairs so nicely with the apples, if you are a purist and just want to enjoy the apple flavor, leave out the spices. I also tend to like my applesauce on the chunky side, so I hardly mash mine up, though some folks love a smooth pureed applesauce, whatever you like, this recipe is super simple and in no time your house will smell so good, you won’t want to leave.

Chunky Applesauce

Chunky Applesauce

3 to 4 lbs of apples, peeled, cored and sliced ( I think I used about 8 apples, a couple different varieties*, left over from apple picking)
Juice of one lemon
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup organic dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons organic pure cane sugar
3 whole cinnamon sticks (3-inch sticks)
2 whole star anise
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

As you are slicing and peeling your apples, place them in a large saucepan. Once you have all of your apples in there, place the saucepan over a medium-high heat, add the lemon juice and water. Stir in the sugars and add in the spices and the salt. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower to a low-medium heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the apples are thoroughly cooked. They will start to mash-up and breakdown on their own. Once your apples are fully cooked, and soft, remove the pan from the heat and remove the cinnamon sticks and star anise. Mash it up with a potato masher or a large wooden spoon, it won’t take much. Leave your sauce as chunky as you would like. If you like a very smooth applesauce you can blend it in your blender or food processor. Serve warm or cool.

This applesauce will keep a few weeks, covered in the refrigerator or it can easily be stored in your freezer.

* Be sure to choose a good quality sweet cooking apple such as – Cortland, Empire, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, HoneyCrisp, McIntosh, Pink Lady, Rome, Fuji, Ginger Gold or Jonathan. I think I used a combination of golden delicious and McIntosh, not entirely sure since I was apple picking with my high-energy 3-year old nephew, Noah.

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Gluten-free Apple Crisp

NOTE: I posted an updated version of this recipe – here! The new version is still gluten-free but it is also vegan and refined sugar free!

This is my Mom’s recipe, she is an incredible baker. My Dad does most of the cooking and my mom does all of the baking. Every Fall she whips up a pan of this just for me, with the freshly picked apples from the tree in their yard and it is the best. She made a big pan of it for dessert for the big dinner I made last night. This is what Autumn tastes and smells like! This recipe is super simple, I have made it a couple of times myself, though somehow it is never as good as when my mom makes it.

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

4 cups of peeled and sliced apples (4 med)
2/3 – 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup gluten-free flour (your favorite all-purpose will work perfectly)
1/2 cup certified gluten-free oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats)
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup butter softened

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Grease a square 8″ x 8″ pan. Place apples in pan.
Mix remaining ingredients cutting butter in to make crumbly consistency.
Sprinkle over the apples and bake 30 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm topped with fresh whip cream or your favorite vanilla ice cream.

Gluten-free Apple Crisp

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Yesterday was the first day of our big Farmers Market at Elmwood and Bidwell and I knew all week that the weather was doomed for it’s opening day. We decided to meet my parents there right at 9 am to possibly beat the rain and wind. It actually wasn’t too bad, though it felt more like a very cool Autumn Day, not Spring. We walked around, looked at everything, ran into friends and began to make a plan for what we wanted to buy. The sun even peaked out a time or two. Eventually dark clouds made their way overhead, the wind picked up and we knew we should probably make our purchases soon.

We got so much great stuff, apples, leeks, spinach, asparagus, baby potatoes, veggie burgers, yogurt leek sauce, homemade strawberry jam, fresh from the farm eggs, sausage, bacon, and a beautiful, whole, fresh Heritage chicken. I decided this would be dinner. A roast chicken. It was the perfect day for it, it was cold, rainy and windy and I just wanted to stay in. So, I took a look at everything else we bought and made a plan.

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Roast Chicken, Apples, Leeks and Baby Potatoes

Serves 2 with leftover veggies

2 medium apples (I used Crispin) chopped
1 leek (white and light green parts), chopped
1 pound of baby potatoes, halved
4 small sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 3 pound whole chicken – we had a farm raised, all natural, heritage chicken from Painted Meadows Farms in Franklinville, NY

Preheat your oven to 350° F

Rinse the bird, inside and out and pat dry. Place the potatoes, leeks and apples in the roasting tray of a large roasting pan, place the chicken in the center (breast side up). Drizzle olive oil over everything, making sure to get a good light coating over the whole bird to give you a crispy, perfectly browned skin. Sprinkle everything with rosemary, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. You can also sprinkle the inside of the bird with your spices as well, I did that plus I stuffed a couple of chopped leeks in there, as well as a whole sprig of rosemary. Toss the vegetables gently to make sure they are coated.

Roast the chicken until it is cooked through and the apples, potatoes and leeks are tender. I took the chicken out around 2 hours and the veggies could still use more time, so I took the chicken out to rest, took the vegetables out of the roasting tray so they could cook in the juices from the chicken and turned the oven up to 400° F. I wanted to get them really brown and crispy, the way we like them. Taste the veggies as they are done and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Allow the chicken to rest 10-15 minutes before cutting into it, this will allow the juices to redistribute. Serve with a nice helping of the apples, leeks and potatoes.

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We found that the Heritage Chicken was much different from any other chicken we had ever roasted before, it had an incredible scent when it came out of the oven and it tasted so amazing, a much more rich chicken flavor than from the grocery store chickens. We found the dark meat to be very dark and slightly tougher (almost gamier), a bit more like a cornish hen. However, the breast meat was impeccable, what chicken should taste like, the best I have ever had. The skin, though I don’t typically eat it any way, was thicker than usual and tough to eat. Mark usually eats as much as he can before I start nagging him about the fat, but this time he couldn’t eat much. I’ll have to ask the women we bought the chicken from next week if there is a trick for cooking the Heritage birds, from what I had read it is best to cook these birds low and slow so as not to dry them out and toughen the meat. The legs on this bird seemed longer than I have ever seen and they were sticking straight up (!), but I didn’t have any kitchen twine to truss them, so I went without. I am curious if that could have been why the leg meat seemed tougher, maybe it was overcooked.

We ate dinner a bit later than normal last night, so by the time it was ready it was fairly dark and the pictures of the finished bird are not that great. Still working on a way around the night-time photos.

All in all, this was the perfect start to the farmers market season, I cannot wait to make more meals this week with the goodies we bought and of course to go back next week.

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