Caramel Applesauce

The most complimentary adjective I can dredge up for store-bought applesauce is “edible.”  Homemade, however, is a whole ‘nother ball game.  All you need are some apples, a little acid to help break them down, a little sugar to sweeten the deal, and a little time to let it cook.  But since you’re going to all the trouble to put sugar in a pot and cook it, you might as well take a few extra minutes and caramelize it first.

I wish I could say this was my idea, but I stole it from Martha Stewart.  I first made this applesauce last fall, as the first step in an apple spice cake from the MS Baking Handbook.   I was at the very beginning of a caramel odyssey then.  I was fresh off my first tarte tatin and still had brown sugar caramel frosting in my future.  Like browning butter, caramelization is a short step that takes a basic ingredient and makes something amazing out of it.  And like browning butter, I now nudge it into every recipe that I can.

I don’t know if it’s the chemist in me or just the kid, but I love watching sugar caramelize and butter brown.  The amber shades rise up from the heart of the liquid and blossom out across the surface like flowers.  It’s hypnotic, like a very fragrant lava lamp.

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One response to “Caramel Applesauce

  1. Glad you’re back. 😉 And now I’m hungry.

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