Extra festive applesauce

Amy and I had a very festive Sunday afternoon at Wilklow Orchards in the Hudson Valley — the farm was all decked out for fall and Halloween, and the sweet smell of apple cider donuts filled the air… I’m hoping Amy will post some of the fantastic photos she took of the gathering and lugging of the 25lb bags of apples…

A good way to make a dent in 25lbs of apples is applesauce. I’ve made Alton Brown’s 10 Minute Applesauce before — it turned out very well, but this time I opted for Ina Garten’s recipe. The microwave is a truly magical/horrifying machine… 10 minutes in the microwave or 90 minutes in the oven and you get basically the same results.

For about two and a half quarts of applesauce, you will need:

2 large navel oranges, zested and juiced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
6 pounds apples (about 12 to 16 apples — I used 16 since I have SO many… pretty sure it is a mix of Macintosh, Macoun, Empire and maybe Jonagold?)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Zest the oranges and lemon into a large bowl — this is quite a zesty sauce!

Then juice the oranges/lemon into the same bowl.

Peel, quarter and core all apples — this takes a WHILE, so maybe do this sitting down. Put the apple pieces immediately into the zest/juice bowl so they don’t brown.

When all of the apples are done, pour the zest/juice/apple mixture into a large heavy-bottomed pot such as le Creuset. Add the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and allspice, put the lid on the pot, and pop it into the oven for about 90 minutes.

My apartment smelled like Christmas for a couple of hours… so wonderful.

When the apples come out of the oven they will look a little funky.

Nothing a whisk can’t fix! Whisk the apple mixture until it resembles applesauce, then either enjoy right away or store in mason jars for future use! The citrus and spices make this applesauce extra special — it would be amazing with potato latkes, or alongside a pork dish. Thanks for another winning recipe, Ina! Oh and, if anyone has any amazing apple ideas PLEASE PASS THEM ALONG. We are literally drowning in the fruit.

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