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Chunky French Applesauce

Updated February 23, 2016
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Cookbook

1,000 Jewish Recipes

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

In our house this applesauce is the favorite topping for potato and sweet potato latkes. In France some call this mixture apple compote, while others refer to it as apple marmalade. It is actually a thick, chunky version of applesauce. This mixture is said to originate in Normandy, the French province famous for apples, butter, and a powerful apple brandy called Calvados, which some cooks like to slip into their applesauce for extra zest. French cooks do not add water so the apple flavor will be intense.

Chunky applesauce is easier to make than most versions because you don’t need to strain it through a food mill, which is messy to clean. The apples cook quickly because they are cut into thin slices. This delicious applesauce keeps for several days.

When making it, start with the smaller amount of sugar and add more if you wish, according to the sweetness of the apples and, of course, to your taste. If you prefer unsweetened applesauce, use Golden Delicious apples, which are naturally sweet, and omit the sugar. You can make the applesauce with oil instead of butter so it will be pareve.

Makes8 to 10 servings

CostInexpensive

Moderate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturesweet, tart

Type of DishCondiments

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons butter or 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds Golden Delicious, Pippin, or Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons strained fresh lemon juice
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon (optional)
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

Instructions

Heat butter in a heavy stew pan or Dutch oven. Add apples and sauté over medium heat, turning pieces over often, 2 minutes or until they are coated with butter. Add lemon juice and grated lemon rind, if using. Cover tightly and cook over low heat, stirring often, 25 to 30 minutes or until apples are very tender. As the apples cook, check the pan from time to time; if it looks dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons water.

Stir in 3 tablespoons sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture is thick and most of the liquid in the pan evaporates. Add more sugar if desired; heat briefly to dissolve it. Serve warm or cold.

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I tried this recipe with shredded Grammy Smith apples. The butter really adds depth to the flavor. Be careful with the amount of lemon juice - since Granny Smiths are so tart, I had to add extra sugar at the end to balance it out. It smells funky in the middle, but 20 minutes in, it finally smells like applesauce. I highly recommend adding a couple of dashes of nutmeg and 1/4-1/2 tsp of cinnamon along with the sugar.

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