‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’, so says the wisdom of the ages. But what if you have too many apples? Well, then you can turn them into applesauce and have them on hand for delicious recipes. Just to be prepared, here are some of the applesauce cooking mistakes you could be making.
For me, cooking is about two things: instinct and experience. Instinct is that inner voice that whispers about how flavor and textures blend together. And experience actually builds on that instinct of yours, making sure it deepens and expands. That's why it's so important to learn from your mistakes. And when it's fall and apples are in season, there are some applesauce cooking mistakes you might be making.
Cooking doesn't need to be time-consuming if you're organizing with efficiency. Just set some time aside during the weekend and make a large batch to suit your needs for a longer time. The result you're looking for is something not too sweet, with a nice texture. The benefits of making applesauce? It keeps longer than fresh apples thanks to the sugar which acts as a preservative.
5 applesauce cooking mistakes you might be making
1. You're cutting the apples the wrong size
This shouldn't be taking all day and if the apples don't cook faster than 45 minutes, they might be too big. The perfect size is about 1-2 inches. Any larger than that, and they will take ages to soften up so that you can make applesauce. Now, don't make them any tinier than this, or you'll be slaving over the cutting board all day. And who has time for that?
One more detail about the cutting: try to keep the pieces as even as possible. Otherwise, they won't cook evenly, and your applesauce will be chunky for all the wrong reasons - raw-ish pieces of apple.
2. You're adding butter to the recipe
Adding butter seems like an all-weather sure way to add flavor. But not in this case! Butter only helps with the texture, but it tends to make the taste duller. When you cook apples, they tend to lose their flavor pretty fast. And if you add butter on top of that, you lose what makes applesauce tasty - the tartness. The key to your happiness with applesauce is some lemon - about one tablespoon to 4 pounds of apples.
3. You're using ground cinnamon
The flavor of ground cinnamon tends to be duller than the cinnamon stick's. When it's ground, the fragrant oils in it tend to degrade. So how do you go about this? Add one stick of cinnamon to the pot while cooking. And when you're processing the applesauce, remember to take it out. The stick will release its wonderful fragrance which in turn will make your applesauce fragrant.
4. You're cooking the apples too much. Or too little
You don't want to have nearly raw apples in your applesauce, right? Well, just as much, you don't want to overcook your apples. It's best to find the middle path on this. The key here is to keep tasting the apples during the cooking process. That means taste test, but also trying them between your fingers. See if they're squishy but they don't turn to mush to your touch. That means they're ready.
5. You're using too much water
The apples contain a lot of water in them, so you don't need to drown them in liquid. Once the heat gets going, those liquids will be released and help the fruit cook splendidly. So only use as much as necessary - about a cup of liquid. Then, let everything simmer and enjoy the tasty results!
How to use applesauce in cooking
There are many ways to make use of your splendid applesauce now. You can make applesauce pancakes or muffins. You can use the sauce to give incredible taste to a rack of gorgeous ribs. Add some applesauce over some French toast. And you can use it to replace eggs or oil in lots of baked goods.