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Recipe: Best Easy Applesauce for Latkes

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Tomorrow on Good Food, Laura Avery interviews Amelia Saltsman, author of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook, about her no stress technique for making homemade applesauce for Hanukkah. Keep reading for Amelia’s recipe…

Best Easy Applesauce for Latkes

Why the best? Because it’s a perfect tart-sweet counterpoint to savory potato pancakes, and it’s very simple to make. No peeling or processing required. All you need to make this dish—besides great apples—is a pan, a piece of foil, a knife, a fork, and a spoon. If you want to get fancy, add a squeeze of lemon, some sprigs of thyme, or a splash of Calvados. I prefer to skip the cinnamon and nutmeg; I want the pure concentrated flavor of baked apples.  You’ll get about one cup of applesauce per pound of apples.

3 pounds (8 or 9) mixed tart and sweet apples such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Golden
A few sprigs thyme (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons water, fresh lemon juice, Calvados, hard cider, or dessert wine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut apples in half vertically and core them. Place the halves, cut side down, in 1 or more large shallow baking pans, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Scatter thyme among apples. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake apples until tender, about 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, slip fruits from their skins back into pan, scraping any pulp from peels. Discard skins and thyme. Smash apples with a fork, stirring in a bit of water, lemon juice, or Calvados to help scrape up any brown bits in the pan and to lighten the texture of the applesauce. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Adapted from The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm by Amelia Saltsman (Blenheim Press, 2007). Named one of Cooking Light magazine’s Top 100 Cookbooks of the Last 25 Years!