It is no secret to anyone around me during the colder months of the year, I absolutely love hot homemade applesauce and whole cranberry sauce. It is officially fall when I pull out the stock pot and whip up a HUGE batch of homemade apple sauce loaded with cinnamon. I recall my mother doing the very same thing once the air got a little chillier, my brother and I would arrive home from a cold cross country practice to find warm applesauce on the stove, it was such a treat! While I am well aware that not everyone likes their winter “sauces” served warm and everyone has an opinion on chunky or smooth, canned or homemade. I’d be willing to bet these two recipes are ones that you grew up eating as well.
I know that when I was growing up applesauce is something that happened when we had a few too many apples around and we got to the bottom of the bunch, the mushy, bruised, neglected ones. Those are the best for applesauce. While I tend to do the same thing, I also seek out large quantities of these bruised and ugly apples in order to make ginormous batches of this stuff to can and last us a few months… despite my urge to eat it all right then and there. I like my applesauce chunky and loaded with cinnamon, but I can also respect if you want to cook the apples completely to mush and/or food process it to make it smooth.
Cranberry sauce, another big debate. Canned or homemade, smooth or chunky, jellied or saucy, orange/citrus peel or just straight up cranberries? I’m a fan of the homemade, whole cranberry sauce it’s the only cranberry sauce I’ve ever known and I wouldn’t change it! I’ve seen that jellied stuff, quite frankly it grosses me out. Cranberry sauce is generally associated with Thanksgiving and turkey, the best combination out there… Turkey and cranberry sandwich anyone? Though my mom is known to make it at Christmas as well, because it is my and my Fathers absolute favorite thing in the winter time no joke we devour them. Me, I generally make cranberry sauce a few times during the fall and winter months they are a great addition to a hearty meal, and I also enjoy them in some plain yogurt… just try it.
Aren’t they just beautiful? Not to mention the amount of antioxidants in these things!
Very ripe Macintosh or Cortland apples, Peeled and slice
Start with a small amount of sugar in relation to the amount of apples you have, add to taste
Cinnamon, to taste
Place apples in a large saucepan, add sugar, water, and a touch of cinnamon. Turn heat to medium, once the apples start cooking, turn back to low and let simmer until the apples are broken down (about 45-1hour). Stir occasionally. If you leave the heat on medium the apples will break down much quicker, but they tend to break down more, so if you like smoother applesauce you can keep the heat up. Continue to add cinnamon and/or sugar until the taste is how you like it. Let cool, or eat right off the stove!
Whole Cranberry Sauce
1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
splash of orange juice (not necessary if you don’t have it)
Place water, sugar, and cranberries in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir often and WATCH CLOSELY as they tend to rise up out of the pan if they get to hot and aren’t stirred enough (it makes a HUGE mess). Once you hear the berries start to pop and cook down a bit you can bring the heat down to low until the berries are all popped and the sauce is formed. Turn off heat and let cool. Again I like it right when they are warm off the stove, but many eat the sauce chilled in the fridge.
What is your favorite winter sauce?