On the 2nd Night of Chanukah I Put in my Belly: Nani’s Famous Applesauce
no jewish holiday is complete without applesauce. whether served as a regular side dish or as an accompaniment to latkes (more on that later this week), applesauce is an essential. and i should say as jews, we’re talking homemade applesauce, non of this motts/treetop nonsense. is homemade applesauce an unknown to peoples of other faiths? let’s discuss…
NANI’S FAMOUS APPLESAUCE
- 8-10 apples (nani suggests granny smith but i enjoy granny smith plus a variety to offer a more complex flavor). this should serve 4-6 people. i tend to make a larger batch at once because it freezes really well.
- lemon juice
- a pinch of salt
- honey or agave nectar
start out by peeling them apples. one of these days i will invest in an apple peeler but for now i just use a vegetable peeler and it works just fine. by the way, did you know there was a mango-pitter? me either!
next, cut your apples in to chunks about 1/2 an inch thick. it’s okay if there is still a bit of peel on some of the chunks – i find it adds flavor and texture. but you don’t want too much peel – then it just gets stuck in your teeth. it’s about balance. put about a 1/2 an inch of water at the bottom of your pot and squeeze the juice of a lemon or two on the apples. i like to cook this slowly over a low flame, stirring very occasionally
after about 30 minutes your apples should be browning and getting mushy. add a pinch (or two) of salt and a few swirls of agave nectar. my nani’s recipe calls for honey instead (she wouldn’t trust anything with the word nectar in it) but i like the agave – maybe it’s not quite as sweet? i don’t know
continue to cook until your applesauce has reached your desired level of chunkiness. for me, i like fairly chunky applesauce. if you like it to be smoother – cook it longer and stir it more often. when it is done, transfer to serving bowl and allow it to cool in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.
happy 2nd night of chanukah – tomorrow we’re moving from side dishes to a main course!