There are lots of events for food bloggers, and I participate in one whenever it fits in with what I happen to be cooking. But there was one I didn't want to miss, and the deadline was today.
A year ago today, the Italian food blogger had a stroke at the age of 30. Thirty! She decided to host a food blog event dedicated to a food that prevents strokes -- apples. Her requirement was that the dish had to also include one of the following ingredients: almonds, black tea, cinnamon, dark chocolate, fish, peperoncino, or tomatoes. I wanted to support her worthy event -- and what person to contribute to such an event than a blogger from the state that's the USA's second largest grower of apples?
My super exciting contribution to the event: plain old applesauce. Boy, I'm on a roll these days -- a post on brown rice a few days ago, a post on applesauce today. But applesauce is a practical way of using up apples that have gotten to be a bit soft and mealy. Plus, it's a good way to get kids (mine at least) to eat fruits at this time of year.
I found a recipe that looked interesting, from the New York Apple Country Web site. It was a recipe for applesauce, cooked in the microwave for 20 minutes. Sounded like a handy dandy recipe to me.
The recipe called for leaving the skins on the apples, but I can't hack skins in my applesauce. Someday I'm going to get a food mill so that I can make applesauce without peeling them first, but since I haven't been able to justify the investment in a good one, I peel my apples. The recipe said to cook the apples in the microwave, covered (I used wax paper), for 15 minutes. So far, so good. Then the recipe said to cook the apples, uncovered, for five minutes.
"Huh," I thought. "I'm surprised that won't make a big mess in the microwave."
Well guess what. It did make a huge frigging mess, all over the inside of the microwave. When will I learn to trust my judgment in the kitchen??? Once I cleaned up the mess, the applesauce had a stringy texture, so a buzz of the stick blender got it to our preferred consistency.
Anyway, all the best to the blogger from Ma Che Ti Sei Mangiato and best wishes for your good health. Here's my unexciting contribution.
New York Microwave Applesauce
Adapted from the New York Apple Growers Web site
(Use this only if you want to scrub your microwave afterward.)
6 medium New York apples (I used 2 each of Empire, Jonagold and Fuji)(Total chopped apples = 6 cups) - I peeled mine
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Additional cinnamon and sugar for serving, if desired
Core and chop apples into small chunks of uniform size (1/2 inch). Place apples in large microwave-safe bowl. Add 1/4 cup water to bowl. Cover and microwave on high 15 minutes. Stir apples. Continue to microwave, uncovered, until apples are very tender, about 5 minutes longer.
Using potato masher, coarsely mash apples. (If you left on the skins and they are too chewy, use a food processor to promote desired texture and break up apple skin.) Mix in cinnamon and sugar, if desired.
Makes about 3 1/2 cups