Last week I made a few things using the apples that Matt and I picked last weekend. Two recipes stood out and I can not recommend them enough: Martha Stewart’s Classic Applesauce and an Apple and Butternut Squash soup. And I made this while wearing my sweet new apron that my family-in-law bought for me when they were in Martha’s Vineyard. What’s better than one family? TWO!
Martha’s Classic Applesauce:
When I was younger, applesauce was a staple in my diet. I could not get enough of this food, especially when my mom made it from scratch and served it warm. This recipe is a little more work that most recipes, but it is definitely worth it!
18 McIntosh apples (about 6 pounds), peeled, cored and quartered (I used Golden Delicious)
1 cup apple cider (I substituted apple juice)
1 large cinnamon stick
1/2 tbs vanilla bean paste
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground mace
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1. Combine apples, apple cider, cinnamon, vanilla bean paste, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, sugar and lemon juice in a large heavy-bottomed wide sauce pan.
2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching, until the apples are broken down and saucy, 50 to 60 minutes. Mash any large pieces of apple with a large wooden spoon to help them break down. Season with more sugar and spices. Remove the apple mixture from heat and discard the cinnamon stick. (At this point, I used an immersion blender to thin the sauce, but the recipe didn’t call for it).
Makes 7 cups (I only made half and it seemed like a lot). The apple sauce can be stored in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Apple and Butternut Squash Soup:
Typically I try to avoid making cream-based soups, but this looked too good to pass up. Man, am I happy I embraced the heavy cream – this soup is RIDICULOUSLY good. It is so good that I served it to Matt last night for the second time in a week and he didn’t even bat an eye. And for a kid who typically refuses to eat left-overs (yes, he thinks he is a prince) that is a BIG deal. The original recipe called for pumpkin but I substituted butternut squash.
1 tbs canola oil
1 tbs butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbs ginger paste or minced fresh ginger (I used ground ginger)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 lb pumpkin, peeled and finely chopped (I used butternut squash)
1/2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped (I used Jonagold apples)
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1 tbs finely grated orange rind (I omitted this)
1/2 cup crushed, shelled pumpkin seeds, for garnish (I omitted this)
1. In a large heavy-based sauce pan heat oil and butter over medium heat until butter melts. Add onion, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg and saute for 3 minutes or until onion is transparent.
2. Add pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apples and soup stock; season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, or until vegetables and apples are tender. Remove from heat; stir in cream and orange rind, and let cool.
3. Transfer soup to a food processor or blender (I used an immersion blender), and blend until smooth. Pour soup in clean sauce pan and heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Transfer to individual bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds before serving.