Applesauce (no sugar) with Quince
By DK on Dec 17, 2012
Nature had a very good reason in intending us to enjoy her resources as naturally as possible. Reason - they are delicious. Given our current situation in the world, its getting harder and harder to find anything in its truest form including food. My study in the kitchen involves working out a way of making such foods not only attainable but also likable. Among such was this humble Applesauce. Ever since my mother pressure cooked apples, mashed them into pulp for my little one, I have been meaning to make my applesauce using the same method. I had made Apple butter using the pressure cooker once previously and hence this method for applesauce appealed to me.
Unsweetened applesauce can at times (OK! most of the times) be a blah! Given that I am trying to turn my head the other way slowly with respect to "refined sugar", I wanted to see if I can make my applesauce without any addition of sugar yet make it naturally sweet. The season provides a plethora of Apples with varieties galore. I did a little research to find what combo would work perfect for me. A mix of Golden Delicious, Rome and Fuji was a heavenly mix - full of aroma and full of flavor brimming with natural sweetness that even the thought of adding a sweetener seemed ridiculous.
Having never tried Quinces before, I was eager to kick start my experience with it. I never could find them in any of the stores before until I hit gold at my Farmer's Market (that I discovered a year back). This recipe worked great in introducing new flavors to my family and the beautiful pink color that it imparted to the sauce only made us warm with our reception towards quinces. I used Deborah Madison's recipe as a guideline where she mentions using a Food Mill along with pressure cooker (for eliminating the peels and seeds). But given that I did not have a food mill, I used my colander to do the same. If you have a Food Mill then use it from step 6. What appeals to me about using this method is that it eliminates peeling, coring and other yada yada prep for making the sauce. The pressure cooker also helps to trap the flavors and aroma of the sauce better than stove top along with reducing the cooking time considerably.
used deborah madison's recipe as a guideline to make my version.
Prep Time: Under 15 min
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Yield: Makes around 4 cups ( About a Litre)
- 3 Lbs (abt 1.4 kilos) Mixed Apples, see Tips
- 2 medium Quinces (optional)
- Optional Additions, if needed
- Honey or sugar to taste, see Tips
- Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed, see Tips
- 1/2 tsp of Ground Cinnamon, Cardamom , Allspice or Pinch of powdered Cloves
Tips1. Apples: I used a mix of Golden Delicious, Rome and Fuji Apples. Golden Delicious variety for its sweetness which helps to avoid any sugar in the recipe. Rome, for the flavor that it develops when cooked and also for the fact that it is mealy. Fuji, for the sweetness and also for the fact that these make the best applesauce, in my opinion (among few others like Golden Delicious).
2. Sweetener: If you are not sure of the type of apples or cannot locate the types I mention, you can use any variety you find. In that case you might need to sweeten the sauce if tart. You can use Cane sugar, Honey or any other sweetener of your choice.
3. Lemon Juice: In the off chance that your applesauce is naturally too sweet for you, then add in some freshly squeezed lemon juice to balance it out.
Chop the apples into quarters. I cubed them into chunks. No need to peel or core or deseed.
Same for the quinces.
Add these to the Pressure cooker. Add 3 tbsp of water to the fruits.
Pressure cook high for about 10 minutes. I use an Indian style Pressure cooker with whistles and I cooked them for 4 whistles (takes the same amount of time, 10-12 minutes). I let it sit to let the pressure fall by itself but you can do a quick release by placing it under running water
See the beautiful pinkish tinge thanks to Quinces? :). I mashed it with a Potato masher
I placed a big saucepan under my colander and poured the pulped fruits to the colander.
I kept mashing and pushing the fruits to the bottom and side of the colander in quick circles.
The idea was to squeeze out the sauce through the holes of the colander to the pan below.
See all that beautiful applesauce? You can at this point do a taste test. If you are planning to add the sweetener and/or spices, simmer the sauce for 5-6 minutes after the addition. Cool and then store. Mine were naturally sweet hence did not add any sweetener. I did not add any spices either.
The seeds and the skin are left in the colander.
Delicious, colorful and aromatic applesauce all ready. I use them in zillion ways - topped on a pancake , in the pancake, muffins, cakes, breads, waffles and whatever else you can think of. Oh yes, these are great as they are. My little one and I have a wonderful time smacking our spoons during evenings with generous helpings of plain applesauce.
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