We sure have missed being surrounded by Orchards up here in Chester. When we were down South, we were able to just walk out our back door in the autumn and go scrumping for apples . . . lovely windfalls. There was no end to the baked goodies and treats I cold make. Although we now have our own apple tree, for some reason this year we had not even one apple on it. Quite a disappointment, to say the least!
We were lucky though, in that a few days ago, our landlord gifted us with a couple of bags of lovely organic apples from his back garden.
Oh how lovely they were, all big and juicy. As soon as I saw them I had in mind to make applesauce with them. They were just perfect for it.
Todd and I love to sit down with a bowl of applesauce in the evenings sometimes, and it's so much better when the applesauce is homemade! You just can't beat homemade applesauce.
We like it a bit chunky and not totally pureed and not overly sweet. This recipe helps you to tailor the sweetness and texture to your own tastes.
Makes about 3 cups
This recipe basically calls for your own taste judgment. If your apples are very tart, you won't need as much lemon juice, but you may need more sugar. The trick is to taste it as you go along and add only as much as you think the apples need.
4 large firm apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
4 ounces water (1/2 cup)
sugar to taste
3 TBS lemon juice
Place the apples and water into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until the apples become tender and begin to break down, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add sugar to taste and the lemon juice. Stir to blend well. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash with a fork.
And then . . . if you are lucky enough to have enough apples to make a big pot of applesauce, you can use some of it to make this delicious teabread! Oh my but this is soooo good.
It is hard to resist cutting in to it when it is fresh out of the oven . . . oh so spicy and warmly delicious.
It does have a tendency to fall apart if you don't let it sit overnight though . . . but I confess, I've never been good at waiting for anything! If you're better at that than me though, wrap it up and let it sit overnight. You'll get much nicer slices that way.
*Applesauce Tea Bread*
Makes one 9 by 5 inch loaf, cutting into 14 slices
A delicious moist and spicy tea bread that gets even better upon standing. This will taste even better on the second day if you can wait that long!
7 1/2 ounces plain flour (1 3/4 cups)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
8 ounces unsalted butter (1 cup)
3 1/2 ounces white sugar (1/2 cup)
3 3/4 ounces soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup packed)
2 tsp cold water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250ml measure of applesauce (homemade or store bought) (1 cup)
5 1/4 ounces sultana raisins (1 cup)
2 ounces chopped toasted walnuts (1/2 cup)
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 9 by 5 inch metal loaf tin. Line with baking paper and then butter the baking paper. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour and spices. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and both sugars until light. Place cold water in a bowl and stir in the bicarbonate of soda until dissolved. Stir this into the applesauce. It will foam up. Stir this mixture into the creamed mixture, mixing it in well. Fold in the flour mixture, mixing to combine. Stir in the sultanas and nuts.
Spoon the batter into the prepared baking tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour 10 minutes, until well risen, nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven. Leave in the pan for ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Please Note - This recipe does not call for any eggs. I haven't left them out.