What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

An Apple a Day...

We have a few warm days, up to the mid 70s F for three days in a row. It would be nice for hiking; maybe we'll get some in. We are using it to spray Orchids for mites and aphids, taking them all outside. It will take us at least 2 days. In the meantime I am making applesauce. My Mom goes to the Virginia mountain every year and buys bushels of apples. I 'ordered' some from her, asking for a mixed bushel or two of good crisp apples. I am catering a wedding at the end of December and one of the items ordered was warm apple sauce so I am canning it now for later consumption. It's really easy, especially since I have this wonderful apparatus called a Squeezo Strainer. My sister in SC bought it for me at the Pickens Flea Market a few years back. It was in the original box and cost $5 or $10, I don't remember. A side note on the Pickens Flea Market. It is amazing, more like a real farmer's market. It is Wednesday mornings from 4:00 AM until 11:00 AM. It covers acres and is real farmers. She just got me some beautiful herbs there. $2 for the big pots and $1 for the small ones.

Back to the applesauce: All you need to do is quarter the apples.

I steam them in a big steamer meant for crabs, until they are soft. Put them in the strainer and the skin, seeds and cores come out of one side and the sauce comes out the other.

I put the sauce back on the heat and add a bit of honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Move to sterilized jars and simmer in a hot water bath for 30-45 minutes and voila. Now we have really good apple sauce for the rest of the year. If you make it and serve it warm, it's one of those warm, comfort, fall foods you could eat at any meal.

One other nifty idea that came from a great chef who happens to be in the Army is to stuff a pork tenderloin with a few of your favorite dried fruits (I like cranberries or cherries with pear) that have been bloomed in green tea and minced. Braise the stuffed meat in sesame oil, then coat in sesame seed (I like to mix white and black) and finish in the oven. Serve with homemade apple sauce that is flavored with a hint of soy sauce. It is divine warm, room temperature or cool.

I also made an apple crostata. We didn't eat much of it though. We are watching what we eat with the holidays coming up and that feeling we get like we need to eat to fatten up for the long winter ahead, like the bears. That doesn't mean we won't eat good stuff; just less fatty. We also dry some. A low fat way to eat them is to peel them and cut them in pieces, put on a plate, dapple with apple pie spices, cover with plastic wrap and zap until soft.

This is my submission to hosted this week by Meeta of What's For Lunch Honey?. Check it out!

In the meantime, Check out our website for recipes. Swank Recipes



  • At 5:36 AM, Blogger Katie said…

    I want your strainer! NOW!
    I have always made applesauce - I like to have it with vanilla yogurt for a low-cal lunch. I got tired of the peeling, coring and cutting so I switched to cut-up raw apple - with cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Good, but not the same.

    Once again you have inspired me to do more....Stop It...I mean,, thanks!

  • At 6:18 AM, Blogger Meeta said…

    Looks great and perfect ot get rid of all those apples ;-)

    Thank you for your entry to the WHB.

  • At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Pookah said…

    Thanks Katie,

    Such a cheap find that I also use for tomato sauce. I'll tell my sister to keep her eye out and if she kinds another one, to pick it up!


  • At 12:15 PM, Blogger Pookah said…


    looking forward to your summary


  • At 11:30 AM, Blogger JMom said…

    hi P! great post, once again. It really is apple season again. I've been making apple pies, but have never tried making apple sauce just because of the labor of peeling and seeding them. I love your strainer!

    Hey, the girls are still talking about what a great time they had at your place and how wonderful the muscadines were. The Clone also still talks about the Duke. She wants to see him again :)

  • At 8:47 AM, Blogger Kalyn said…

    What a fabulous strainer. I have a very small version of that, but not nearly as good as the one you have. I've mostly used it for tomato sauce though. Applesauce is so wonderful, and homemade is the best!

  • At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Genie said…

    I've never used the strainer to make it, but I definitely love making homemade applesauce. I haven't done it yet this year -- need to make that happen. Usually I just throw it all in the crock-pot and let it all cook down, but that does require peeling, unless I want peel-y applesauce.

    Yum. Must put that on the list for this weekend.

    The Inadvertent Gardener

  • At 7:52 PM, Anonymous coffeepot said…



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