Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mary Jane's Applesauce

As I get older, I treasure certain memories from my youth more that I ever thought that I would. So many of those are from my Mimi's kitchen. Most of the time, my job was to wash dishes, but on occasion, I got to actually help with the process of making something fantastic. One of my favorites was her applesauce, which was always on our family table during the fall. I cannot think of a healthier snack, sweet treat or a more appropriate condiment for a pork or poultry dish.  This fall, with apples in abundance, I find myself going back to this recipe again and again... and making it in the same cast iron skillet that she used to make it in for me as a child.

I was taught to watch the apples closely so that they don't get too brown. But in
her skillet, they always seem to turn out perfectly.

3 lbs. of Granny Smith or McIntosh apples (choose sweet or sour, or just mix them up)
The juice of one large, ripe lemon
1/2 stick unsalted sweet butter
finely ground salt
1/2 cup organic honey

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Core the apples and quarter. Peel slightly (but leave about 1/4 of the peels intact for added texture). As you chop the quarters, place into a bowl with lemon juice. Once all slices are in bowl, toss well. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. add the apples and 1/2 tsp. salt and sauté for about 3-4 minutes. Add the honey and another pinch of salt, stir well and move into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and mash with a fork. Serve warm or refrigerate for later.

**my Mimi always made extra and kept it in airtight containers in the freezer and would remove a bit before 'snack time' so that we would have a fun, slightly frozen surprise.

This easy dish can be made in bigger batches...and days in advance. It is actually a perfect side
 dish for almost any meal, and also serves as an ideal cake or ice cream topping
What is your favorite dish from your grandmother's kitchen? If you don't have the recipe, try to recreate it. There is a sense of comfort in cooking and tasting something that brings back wonderful childhood experiences. Follow me on the Southern Sophisticate and please share your family secrets here!