We're staying in today. Yesterday, we spent the day at the apple orchard and a pumpkin festival . . . Great fun. But all of us have been fighting colds this week, and we decided to spend most of today indoors.
Looking for a fun fall/Halloween cooking project to do with the kids this morning, I found a recipe for peach-applesauce in one of the little guy's favorite cookbooks: C is for Cooking.
(Like his mom, he cannot seem to own enough cookbooks . . . or spend enough time paging through them. Luckily, his nana works at a library and is frequently able to get him discarded cookbooks!) Having just been to the orchard yesterday, we had three bags of apples sitting on the counter, waiting to be made into something yummy.
The last time I made applesauce, it didn't go very well and I swore I wouldn't do it again. Looking back, I think I just didn't cook the apples long enough, so they were incredibly difficult to get through the food mill. Today, it went much better! The recipe in the Sesame cookbook calls for peeling and coring the apples and cooking them in a ton of water. It seemed like it would make a pretty watery, flavorless applesauce. So, I combined instructions from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything and ATK's Family Cookbook, in addition to the Sesame idea of adding canned peaches.
The BEST peach applesauce ever!
1. Cut 10 large apples into four to six pieces.
2. Cut a can of peaches into small chunks. (This is a great job for the little ones!)
3. Fill a large dutch oven with about 1/2 inch of water. Add a pinch of salt.
4. Dump in the apple pieces, cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
5. Once boiling, take the cover off, and add 1/4 cup brown sugar and two cinnamon sticks.
6. Stir frequently until the apples are mushy mushy mushy (about 30+ minutes).
7. Add the chopped peaches.
8. Pass through a food mill. (Another great job for the little ones, providing they have some help with holding the mill onto the bowl.)
9. I added a bit more brown sugar (maybe another tablespoon or two); our apples weren't very sweet to begin with.
We ended up with two pints of peach-applesauce for the freezer and another two pints for the fridge. Plus a few bowls for taste tests. The little guy's verdict? "Mom, this is the BEST peach-applesauce in the whole world!!!" and then he had thirds.