Thursday, March 21, 2013

Vanilla Bean Applesauce (with Pears!)

Apples split or crack after the first heavy rain following a dry spell.*  Fortunately, these blemished (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) apples sure make a wonderful sauce.

Vanilla Applesauce

1-1 1/2 pounds of sweet pears
4-5 lbs of apples (any variety) cored, peeled and cubed
2-3 whole vanilla beans (or more, to taste)
juice from one lemon (approximately 2 Tablespoons)
1 cup water
1/3-1/2 cup brown sugar (reduce or omit based on the sweetness of the apple variety you use)
1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon, to taste

First, turn your fingers into prunes by peeling and chopping the apples and pears. Throw it all in a stockpot or big ol' saucepan. For this round, I used our Goldrush (crisp & tart) & Grimes Golden (softer and slightly sweet).  I've used our Fuji's and the sauce turned out amazing as well.

Then, split the vanilla beans lengthwise and combine them and the remainder of the ingredients with the apples. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove cover and simmer until water all but absorbed, about another 15-20 minutes.

It smells so good!!! Remove the vanilla beans and scrape the good inside bits of them into the sauce. Now you have options, you can food process the cooked apples into a smooth sauce or use a manual potato masher and leave it chunkier.

*More on this topic in a later post

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