Susan Portman may be an artist by trade, but Giora Shimoni is equally enamored of her talent in the kitchen. Here, she shares her mother's special applesauce recipe. Shimoni explains that "her mother's secret was to cook the apple peels and cores in water to make a nice apple juice," which she'd then strain, and use as a cooking liquid to make the applesauce. Portman opts for bottled apple juice instead, a shortcut which she discovered would yield the same delicious results.
Miri's Recipe Testing Notes and Tips:
If you don't have apple juice on hand, water works nicely as well.
If you make the original version of this recipe, it's a good idea to remove the seeds from the apple cores. Otherwise, the apple juice may turn out bitter.
While the recipe calls for Granny Smith apples, feel free to substitute your favorite multi-purpose apples, or to use a mix of varieties. Sweet-tart apples such as Pink Lady, Cameo, Braeburn, or Jonagold work well.
The original recipe suggested adding cinnamon and sugar to taste before cooking, however it is easier to adjust the sweetness once the apples have already broken down into a sauce.
Edited by Miri Rotkovitz
- 8 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, and sliced: save the peels and cores if you are making the original version)
- 1/2 cup apple juice (or water or apple liquid; see original version, below)
- Dash cinnamon (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)
- 3 whole cloves
- Optional: 1/2 cup dried cranberries (more or less to taste)
1. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the apple slices and juice or water. Place over medium-high heat, and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until the apples begin to release their juices and the mixture starts to simmer.
2. Add the cloves, reduce the heat, and cover. Simmer, stirring frequently and crushing the apples, until the apples are tender and the mixture is chunky, about 15 to 20 minutes.
(If you prefer a smoother applesauce, cook it a little longer, and add a little more liquid).
3. Pull from the heat, remove the cloves, and sweeten to taste with cinnamon and sugar. Stir in dried cranberries, if desired. Serve warm, or transfer to a covered container and store in the refrigerator.
1. Place the apple peels and cores in a large pot and cover with water. Cook over medium heat until the peels are soft and the water is the color of apple juice, about 15 to 20 minutes. Working over a bowl, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Save the liquid in the bowl, and discard the peels and cores.
2. Place the sliced apples in large, heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, and add enough of the "apple liquid" to barely cover the apples. Add the cloves.
3. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender and the sauce is chunky. (For a smoother sauce, add more of the apple liquid or water, and cook longer. Discard the cloves, and add cinnamon and sugar to taste. Add dried cranberries, if desired.