Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vanilla Bean Applesauce

A few weeks ago, my sister came to visit for the weekend.  I sent Joey off to his parents' house with Caroline, and we had a true girls' weekend.  No boys, no babies, just us sisters.  We ate yummy food, drank wine, had girl talk, and just enjoyed spending time together.  Our big outing of the weekend was driving to the North Georgia mountains and going apple picking (I know, we're wild and crazy).  We made a day of it and had lunch there, took our time browsing the store for gourmet goodies, and picking apples.  We came home with over 70 pounds!  The majority of the apples went towards making a year's worth of applesauce.  Most of it was pretty straightforward - apples, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.  But you know I have to do something "weird and fancy" as my sister would say.  So I found this recipe from Martha Stewart for applesauce that is full of fun stuff - ginger, apple cider, and a vanilla bean.  One of my favorite things about using vanilla beans is the cute little black specks that they leave behind!  The vanilla flavor isn't overpowering, but it lends a subtle depth of flavor that I just loved.  I also really loved the flavor from the apple cider and subtle spice from the ginger.  All in all, its not any more complicated than plain applesauce, but it is certainly more fun to eat!

One Year Ago:  Maple-Cider Glazed Chicken

Vanilla Bean Applesauce
adapted from Martha Stewart
makes 1 1/2 quarts
  • about 5 pounds ripe, firm apples (such as Gala or Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and cut into wedges
  • 2 Tbs granulated sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt
Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, covered, 50-60 minutes, stirring often, until the apple have broken down.  Add more apple cider if necessary to keep the apples from scorching.

Remove the vanilla bean pod and the cinnamon stick, and mash with a wooden spoon.  Adjust seasonings as necessary.  Allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.


Angie said...

I would have never thought of vanilla bean in apple sauce but wow does this sound amazing!

the blissful baker said...

yumm this applesauce sounds delish! i have some mushy apples in the fridge, and i know exactly what i am doing with them!

Eliana said...

This looks and sounds like an amazing flavor combination Josie :)

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