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Linda's Applesauce

Some things just go together, like oven-roasted chicken accompanied by applesauce. I made that observation during dinner a few weeks ago, and Linda commented that her mother always made the world’s greatest applesauce. So after a phone consultation with Erma and a visit to the orchard vendors at the farmers market, here is Linda’s take on a great rural classic.

 

Ingredients:

4 pounds cooking apples, double quartered, but not peeled or cored. A blend of two kinds is preferable. (We used Lodi and Paula Reds, but a second batch made with all Galas turned out just as tasty.)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
10 whole cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar (if you prefer less sweetness, use 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup water

Preparation:

Put all ingredients in a large stockpot and cook over fairly high heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep all of the apples turning in the hot syrup, but not sticking, until all of them are fork tender. Cool mixture for about 10 minutes, and then put 1/3 batch in a food mill with a fine grating surface (yes, we had to go buy one at Sur la Table...always wanted one but hadn't had a reason to buy one). Grind until left with just skins and seeds; discard skins and seeds. Repeat for next two batches and refrigerate. Then roast a chicken for dinner and enjoy — that is what we did!