Thursday, January 13, 2011
What a Wonderful Surprise!
Being under 4-5 inches of snow + a crust of an inch of ice all week has had me in the kitchen and on the computer a lot more than usual, which is just fine for a blog, it turns out. Seriously, the kids are on their 4th snow day out of school, and I'm beginning to wonder about the curriculum, but . . . not my problem.
So --- part of my kitchen time has been taking stock of what is rotten or on its way out, and cleaning up my larder a bit. About 2 months ago I bought a huge flat of Honey Crisp apples from Costco. I've kept them in our garage fridge since I have found that I really enjoy apples more when they are cold. The refrigeration has served to lengthen their shelf life, of course, but 2 months? After the first couple of weeks I only had 6 of them left and forgot to look at them for a while, assuming they wouldn't be in good shape. Well, after two months, I finally went into that part of the fridge and pulled them out and, no they were not in the best shape, a little softer, a few bad spots, but I thought they were worth cutting into. I peeled and chopped the apples, removing the soft spots (there weren't many) and I put them in a pot with a couple of tablespoons of earth balance. I know that sounds like a lot of "butter" but it was a lot of apples, and I was not inspired to add water. I let them cook on the range on low for several hours. It would have been a good thing to make in a crock pot, but that was still dirty from the hoppin' john (lots of people stuck in the house eating lots of home-cookin' = a backlog at the dishwasher).
I know it is disappointing to some of you when I don't create formal recipes, but I honestly wasn't expecting much from this experiment, so I didn't measure or record anything. The only reason I know the amount of earth balance is that it was the end of a stick, and it had the markings on the foil, and I was just using it up. From memory, to the pot I also added a couple of grinds of fresh nutmeg, a shake or two of cinnamon (about half a teaspoon, I guess), same amount of allspice, and a tiny drizzle of agave syrup -- less than a teaspoon. I considered squeezing a little lemon, but am so glad I didn't. The applesauce was perfectly sweet/tart as it was. I kept the heat very low and stirred every half hour or so. I was making other food too for dinner so I am not sure how long I let this cook, just until most of the apples fell apart.
Can I just say that this is just about the best thing I have ever made? I realize I sound over-the-top here, but I am serious. It's delicious! And to think I was considering throwing the apples away! After dinner, I curled up in my favorite chair with a little, warm bowlful of it and decided my applesauce was up there as the best dessert I've eaten -- ever (and I used to be a creme brulee chick pre-vegan!) This applesauce was that good. No kidding.
This morning I put some in my morning oatmeal and almond milk, with a tiny sprinkle of pumpkin seed granola on top:
Good grief! It was like apple pie a la mode, no, better than that -- just heaven!
I've loved being snowed in here, but now I'm out of apples! Gotta make another batch of this applesauce! Snow/ice, it's time to start melting! What a Wonderful Surprise!