My mom makes the best brisket in the world. She makes the best latkes. AND, she makes the best applesauce. My boys call my mom’s applesauce, Bubbe Sauce. (Bubbe is a term of endearment for a Jewish grandmother.) Her secret to applesauce success, other than the intuitive cooking that allows her to add a dash of this and a pinch of that with stunning success, is the smooth, lump-free texture. My dad, you see, won’t eat food if it’s lumpy. Yes, my mom is not just a great cook … she’s a saint.
To get the perfect consistency for her applesauce, my mom doesn’t mash nor does she puree. Instead, she runs the cooked apples — peel, seeds, and all — through an Italian Tomato Press that she bought at Williams-Sonoma ($39.95). I too am now the proud new owner of said device.
For this month’s Recipe Redux, nutrition bloggers from across the web are sharing their favorite kitchen gadgets … and recipes to go with them. For the challenge, I chose the Italian Tomato Press, which I’m now calling my Handy-Dandy Applesauce Maker, and a recipe for Bubbie’s Applesauce. I hope the gadget roundup offers inspiration as you shop for last-minute holiday gifts or look to stock your kitchen with tools that bring better health and more nutrient-rich cooking to your family’s table in 2013.
The tomato press/applesauce maker is easy to operate (though I must confess that figuring out how to pull it apart in order to clean it was a bit confusing). Feed it cooked apples, turn the crank, and voila, applesauce. The skin comes out from one part of the machine and the smooth applesauce from another. When my 14-year-old son, Simon, got home from school and saw what I was doing, he stepped right in, refused to let me help, and cranked away. Whatever it takes …
Makes 8 Servings
Applesauce is versatile. I used three pounds of organic gala apples, and I tossed in some dried cranberries and a cup of strawberries. The next time I make Bubbe’s Applesauce, I pan to use apples, a pear, and maybe even some dried apricots. As for sweetening the sauce, it may not need anything, but you could certainly use brown sugar, honey, or agave. Homemade applesauce is nutritious — I’m loving the 5 grams of fiber — and since my boys adore it, it’s an easy way to get more fruit into their diets.
- 3 pounds gala apples, quartered, stems removed (not peeled or even seeded)
- 1 cup strawberries, stems removed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- Juice of one lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Brown sugar, optional (add a tablespoon or two if you’re using tart ingredients like fresh cranberries or Granny Smith apples, or add at the end to taste)
1. Place the apples, strawberries, water, cranberries, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a medium Dutch oven or saucepan and stir to combine. Place over medium-high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender, about 45 minutes. (If you want to speed up the cooking time, cut the apples into smaller pieces.) Let cool about 10 minutes.
2. Working in batches, press the cooked fruit mixture through the tomato press. Add the juices too. Run the peel through the press two or three times to press out as much of the fruit as possible. Sweeten with brown sugar to taste.
Nutrition Information per Serving (1/2 cup): 110 calories, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 0g protein, 35% vitamin C
Here’s a picture of my mom and dad. I took it last year as they celebrated the 50th birthday of their trusty GE refrigerator. Too cute ….