Winter is here. Along with it brings a delightful array of wonderful apples! So many recipes to try… the possibilities are endless.
Recipe #1 – Applesauce
Homemade applesauce is unbeatable and ever so easy. Once you try it, you will never buy store bought applesauce again. Even the process of canning the extra will make you feel all Martha Stewart without breaking sweat.
This is a good amount for us (since we are only two), but if you have a family you will definitely want to double, triple, or quadruple this recipe. Enjoy!
4-5 Apples, peeled-cored-chopped
3/4 cup filtered water
1/2 Lemon, juiced (and zest if you have bitter apples)
1 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar* (I only use 1-2 Tbsp. – I prefer a more natural taste)
1-2 tsp. cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick (and/or clove, allspice, ect)
Place apples, water, cider, and lemon in a saucepan on medium – medium high heat, simmer until apples are extremely soft, stirring occasionally to ensure they do not stick to the bottom of the pot. Mash the apples to desired consistency and continue to simmer until all water is evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and spices. From here, you can use a food mill for smoother texture or leave as is for more natural consistency.
While the applesauce is still hot, prepare your jars and fill with sauce leaving more or less than 1″ at the top to ensure a good seal. If you have leftover sauce and like apple butter, then you can continue to cook it down, adding more water, sugar, and spices as necessary.
Recipe #2 – Apple Cake
Being an American from the South, I know all about some apple pies. Now, since living in Greece, I have been introduced to apple cake.
I must admit that I whole-heartedly prefer it! It is unbeatable fresh out of the oven with a cold glass of milk in hand. It is extremely easy to make, and with this recipe you don’t have to feel guilty about going back for seconds or thirds. The cake is full of sweet apples, so you hardly need to add much sugar; by using half applesauce and half olive oil, the fat content is also not a factor. Win/win situation here!
Apple Cake Recipe
1/2 cup EVOO*
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Apple sauce
4 cups Apples (About 4-5 apples, peeled-cored-chopped)
2-3 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 cup White Sugar / or Honey
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup All Purpose Flour (or sub. White Whole Wheat Flour if you have that luxury :)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
Preheat the oven to 350°/180° and butter well the pan you will be using. Begin beating the brown sugar and oil. Gradually add the applesauce, then the eggs one at a time, beating well. In a separate bowl, prepare your apples and mix with the white sugar or honey, vanilla, and cinnamon, set aside. Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and add to the liquid mixture by hand. The batter will be very thick, do not add any water, but instead fold in the apples thoroughly. Pour into prepared pan and bake in oven for 40-45 minutes or 55 minutes if using a bunt pan. Check to make sure a knife or toothpick removes cleanly before removing from oven. Cool slightly on rack for 10 minutes, and then serve warm.
I also have a great Applesauce Spice Cake that is pretty scrumptious too! I will share that with you another time. Enjoy your apples and remember, “When the apple is ripe, it will fall” – Irish Proverb and life lesson for today!