]Spiced Apple Sauce, with its smooth texture and gentle, warm flavors, has made it to our kitchen table frequently in the last few months as we use up overwintered apples in preparation for the coming harvest. Stewed in red wine and spices, the apples take on a lovely rosy color and a mild sweetness. Like many of the best desserts, this applesauce can be made without any additional sweeteners and you’ll find it lacks the cloying sweetness found in store-bought varieties; indeed, without the addition of honey, sugar or other sweeteners the true flavor of the apples and spices can really shine, and for this reason it pairs beautifully with roast meats or served on its own.
Apples enjoy a rich history. First cultivated in central Asia, apples number among the most widely varied fruits – with thousands of varieties traditionally bred though only a few are widely available in the produce section of your grocery store. Apples are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and trace minerals which include potassium, and for this reason they’re often lauded for their health benefits – as research indicates these humble fruit may offer some protection against heart disease and various cancers.
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 6 to 8 pods cardamom, (smashed)
- 1 tbsp whole cloves
- 3 lbs apples, (peeled, cored and chopped coarsely)
- 2 cups red wine
- Place spices in a 100% cotton muslin bag or cheesecloth tied with a string and set them in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Add chopped apples to the saucepan along and pour two cups of any red wine you have on hand over the apples.
- Gently stew the chopped apples in wine and spices over a low flame until they become soft and so tender they fall apart at the slightest pressure.
- Allow the stewed apples to cool to room temperature before running them through a food processor, blender or foodmill until the applesauce becomes smooth and uniform.