Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cooking Together: Strawberry Applesauce

I'm not a big fan of applesauce. Whenever I had the Spewing Stomach Virus From Hell as a kid--which was often--the first thing back in my temperamental tummy was applesauce. Sometimes the old gut was ready, and sometimes it was not, and applesauce out the nose is not a pretty thing.

And I don't like applesauce on my pork chops, thank you very much. I like savory food savory. Slap a good pan gravy on that sucker, not a pile of mushy sweet stuff. I always roll my eyes in Autumn when the pork+apple recipes dominate the food glossies. It's just not my thing. Small digression: don't even think about putting prunes or raisins or apricots on my pork either, even in chutney form. Barf.

The other day I was cursing and sweating up a storm on the treadmill at the gym, and the t.v. was (of course!) on the Food Network. Don't those folks at the gym know that food is what forced me to the gym in the first place? No wonder they never suffer for membership at that joint.

Sunny Anderson was whipping up grown-up childhood classics on her show Cooking for Real. She ended the meal with homemade Strawberry Applesauce. It looked gorgeously pink and Sunny said she didn't even need to add any sugar to hers, and I thought...maybe.

Let's be clear: Miss D. does not let applesauce pass her lips. I've tried. However, this applesauce was pink and Miss D., in typical diva fashion, thinks pink things are the cat's pajamas. **Strange idiom pondering here--cat's pajamas? What in tarnation does that mean and why do we say it?

Anyways, the recipe is very simple.

Strawberry Applesauce
from Cooking for Real with Sunny Anderson

5 McIntosh or Cortland apples, peeled, cored and diced into small chunks
1/2 cup water
8-10 strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1/4-1/2 cup sugar, or to taste.

Put apples, water and cinnamon stick in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover, turn down the heat until apples are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Add the strawberries and cook 5 more minutes.

Cool mixture slightly, discard cinnamon stick and then press through a sieve. Taste for sweetness, adding sugar to taste while still warm, if necessary.

**A few notes from me: I didn't have anything but a very fine mesh sieve, so I just whizzed the apple/strawberry mixture with my immersion blender. Worked great, although the girls were upset with me because I wouldn't let them use the "Whizzer Wand Thingy" by themselves.

I thought it was delicious and perfectly sweet without additional sugar. Both girls insisted it was too tart that way. I compromised and added 1/4 cup sugar.

It's beautiful to look at, easy, and--when gilded with a little dollop of whipped cream--child approved.


  1. Looks and sounds yummy. Maybe I will try this with Haley I doubt even with it being pink she will try it.

  2. Making homemade applesauce is one of my all time favorite "comfort food" activities. It reminds me so much of home. Adding in strawberries sounds like a delicious twist. Congratulations on getting the girls to like it! It sounds like your cooking together project is starting to work well!

  3. Applesauce is also not really a favourite of mine. And you're right, it does not go hand in hand with pork. ew. Ew. EW! But I do like a good applesauce for oil/butter/margarine substitutes in baking. I might have to add this to the list of things to try.

  4. My mom always made applesauce with Cortlands and cooked them with the skin still on. Her applesauce was bright pink, and always tasted so much better to me than the jarred stuff from the store. I think the bright color had a lot to do with how I felt about it.

  5. So it turned into a dessert rather than a partner for pork? Hey - whatever suits you best! I disagree with you on the savory, sweet combo but I think it is down to personal taste...and I don't agree with it with everything - lemon and cinnamon do not go well on chicken - especially in a pancake! Moroccans please take note...I felt very ill afterwards...oh and mint with anything savory doesn't really work for me either...especially not hallumi...

  6. Oh yum, we love making applesauce around here...but I've never made it with the addition of any other fruit (why!?)...Yum, must make soon :D

  7. Man, you girls are a hard bunch to hang out with! I'm an applesauce novice and skeptic, and look at you girls blowing me out of the water--I think you are the best crowd around. But my sweet British CC--we shall never agree on the sweet/savory issue. Blech. But I do need to know who put mint on grilled Greek cheese?

    And Moroccan food is my personal nightmare. Sweet/Savory Hell! I barfed for 48 hours afterwards...sorry, TMI, I know.

  8. So, my daughter is SO WEIRD that she refuses to eat any other flavor of applesauce than well, apple. Nothing. Plain jane yellow. Whatevs.