Friday, October 8, 2010
Chunky Cinnamon Raisin Applesauce
The other day Stan asked me how many recipes on this site are original, i.e. not adapted from other sources. It got me to thinking… and checking the “original recipe” category on the right sidebar. I realized that less than 25 percent of the recipes I’ve told you about are completely my own creation. And while there is nothing wrong with that – adapting recipes from others has certainly helped me become a better cook – it is not at all reflective of how I really cook. I would estimate that at least 75 percent of the food coming out of our kitchen comes straight from my food-obsessed brain.
Why then, have I posted so few completely original recipes? After thinking about it, I’d have to say that it’s because I tend to cook on the fly. When I’m making it up as I go, I don’t often bother to write down what I’m doing or what and how much I’m using. Also, I certainly don’t always take pictures. On the other hand, consulting a cookbook or online recipe forces me to slow down a bit and use specific measurements. When I’m going more slowly, it’s easier to snap a few pictures too.
From here on out, I’m going to try to post a little more like I cook. My goal is to post at least one completely original recipe per week. I may not succeed with this every week, but I think it’ll be a good challenge, forcing me to keep track of some of the random recipes I come up with. And that’s a good thing, because some of the recipes I never wrote down were delicious!
To kick things off, I want to share with you a recipe that I’ve been making for years. Growing up, we called my mom’s version “apple smoosh”. (To be honest, that’s still what we call it at home.) However, to make it sound a little more grown up and a little less, well, smoosh-y, I like to call my version chunky cinnamon raisin applesauce. Whatever you call it, it’s the perfect fall breakfast/snack/dessert. Chunks of sweet, fresh apples (any kind you have on hand); plump, juicy raisins; a little cinnamon and sugar – and that’s it. You don’t have to peel the apples, and you cook the whole thing in the microwave. Seriously, this could not be easier. Or tastier. Add on the fact that it’s inexpensive to make, and there’s really no reason not to keep this homemade applesauce on hand all apple-season long.
Chunky Cinnamon Raisin Applesauce
6 or 7 apples (any variety), sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tsp. cinnamon, or more to taste
1 to 2 T. sugar, or more to taste
1/2 cup raisins
6 T. water, or more if necessary
(Note: The amounts of sugar and water needed will vary depending on the variety of apple you use. Adjust amounts to your taste.)
Place apple slices in a large, microwave-safe dish. (I like to use my large CorningWare casserole dish.)
Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the apples.
Sprinkle the raisins over the top of the apples, then add the water.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap (or a lid if you have one), and microwave for 4 minutes. Stir the apples and continue cooking for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the apples are soft. If the apples seem a little dry when you stir them, add another tablespoon or two of water. (Cooking times may vary slightly depending on the wattage of your microwave.)
Using a potato masher (or the back of a spoon), smoosh the apples until they are to your liking. Smoosh them a little for a super chunky applesauce; smoosh them a lot for a smoother sauce.
Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.
Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for several days.