This cozy, rustic applesauce really made my breakfast over the holidays.
Judy Rodgers’ recipe is so easy and forgiving. There is no stirring, no oven light vigil, just a warm apple breeze while you play the Super Mario Bros. game you forgot to play two Christmases ago.
I used some rather dull apples, just pinches of salt and sugar, a scrap of a vanilla bean, a pat of butter, and a spoonful of cider vinegar. That last ingredient I was a bit unsure about, but it really made the apple flavor pop.
The oven did the rest of the work, stewing then searing the apples into luscious shape. We ate it the next morning with a whole wheat Dutch baby (1up!) and creamy coffee (1up!).
(adapted from Judy Rodgers’ Zuni Café Cookbook)
Makes about 3 cups.
3.5-4 lbs. of apples
2 tsp. sugar (only if needed)
a pinch of salt
2 TB butter
a splash of apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Toss with a pinch of salt and if the apples are quite tart, the sugar. (It was completely unnecessary, but since I spied it in the fridge, I also added a half-used vanilla bean.)
Spread apples in a Dutch oven or shallow baking dish (not glass) and sliver the butter on top. Cover with a lid or foil. Bake until the apples begin to soften, about 15-30 minutes. Remove the lid and turn the oven up to 500ºF.
Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the apples are very tender and starting to caramelize. Mash to your liking. Have a spoonful (or two). If it’s still too tart for your taste, add a little more sugar. Stir in the apple cider vinegar. Serve warm.
The Dutch baby pancake is this recipe with whole wheat pastry flour.