I KNOW! Just when I thought my rough mash of fall apples couldn’t be improved upon (not that I ever really tried, beyond adding a cinnamon stick or maple syrup or a vanilla bean or swapping apples for pears) – I stumbled upon this. And I know that applesauce is really a good and healthy thing on its own and there’s no need to add butter to it, but the same can be said for vegetables, and look what a dab of butter does to those. And this is made with browned butter, even. It doesn’t make the sauce greasy or heavy, just gives it that element of je ne sais quoi – a richness you’d never think to credit to butter. And the rosemary! Rosemary loves apples. I’m the sort who loves chunky applesauces and cranberry sauces and plum chutneys and the like with my roast chicken, pork and sausages. Grilled pork tenderloin with rosemary browned butter applesauce. It goes as well with thick plain yogurt or leftover turkey or a big soup spoon. Of course it freezes beautifully, so makes a great preserve to put away for the bleak midwinter without requiring canning and jarring.
This sauce has inspired me to get out there with a rake and whack down the last of the apples on the highest, most unreachable points of our tree, even though I inevitably get apples falling great distances and smacking me in the head or whacking me in the eye. This stuff is totally worth it.
Rosemary Browned Butter Applesauce
Although this did begin as a recipe, I didn’t really follow it. The gist is to toss a couple twigs of rosemary into your apples as they simmer, then finish the lot with a bit of browned butter. But here’s a loose guide.
4 lbs apples, cored and cut into chunks
1-2 cups pure apple cider or good-quality juice
2 rosemary sprigs, bashed with the back of a knife to bruise it
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup butter
In a large pot, combine the apples, cider, rosemary and cinnamon and bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook until very soft, stirring once in awhile. When the apples are easily mashed with a potato masher or fork, remove the cinnamon stick and rosemary and mash the rest.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan; continue to cook, swirling the pan often, until it turns deep golden and smells nutty. Stir into the applesauce and serve warm.
October 17 2010 10:47 pm | preserves