Friday, September 30, 2011

Farewell to Peaches – Welcome Apples

The peaches I became so fond of over the summer are now gone and the orchards are brimming with apples.  As pleased as I was with my previous attempt at applesauce (the brown sugar cinnamon), I decided I wanted to try something a little different.  I stopped by Flamm Orchard on Wednesday and picked up two bags of apples:  Golden Delicious and Jonathan. 


For this batch of applesauce I chose, for no particular reason, to make the sauce with equal amounts of both varieties of apples. 

The plan was to roast the apples and caramelize the sugar before adding it to the sauce.  My thoughts on roasting the apples were that they would get that nice, roasted flavor (they didn’t) and if I roasted them with the peels on the peels should come off easily after roasting (they didn’t).  In retrospect, I don’t think I roasted them long enough.

It took me nearly an hour to separate the apples from their peels.  The only positive of this endeavor was that roasting the Jonathans with the skin on gave the apples a beautiful, rosy color.  I can’t say in the end the color was worth the effort, but it was a consolation at the time.

As for caramelizing the sugar, I’ve done this only a couple of times before:  once successfully, once not so much.  To help ensure this attempt would be successful, I consulted my Baking and Pastry textbook.  I used the “dry method” of mixing a small amount of lemon juice with the sugar and cooking it just until melted and golden.

I knew that when I added the melted sugar to the applesauce it would seize and harden immediately.  Since the sauce still needed to cook, the liquid and heat would re-melt the hardened caramel into the sauce.  I had hoped the caramelization would impart sort of a “caramel apple” flavor to the sauce but in keeping to the apparent theme of the day – it didn’t. 

While this batch of applesauce didn’t turn out as well as I envisioned, it’s still pretty good and I’m not giving up on the recipe/method just yet.  I still have plenty of apples to try again.  If at first you don’t succeed . . .

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