Recipe #1 – Homemade Applesauce

Yesterday was the first of many recipes on this very long journey. For my first recipe I felt strongly that I wanted it to be one from Ina’s first cookbook, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. So, I got it off the shelf and started paging through it. However, I quickly realized a slight problem. Many of the recipes called for ingredients that are “fresher” and “in season” during the summer months.

Now, yes, it is technically still summer (at least until Tuesday!), and I could (in theory) get some of these items now. But doing so I would break one of Ina’s cardinal rules: always use the freshest ingredients possible. So I continued on paging through the book until I stumbled upon an applesauce recipe.

With Fall just around the corner, apples are starting to come in season here in New England and the ones this recipe calls for tend to be “always in season.” So that is what I decided to make.

Her apple sauce recipe is overall quite easy to make. The most annoying aspect was peeling the apples (I had 14 to do!), but it was totally worth the effort. The addition of butter in the pot makes the sauce smooth and helps layer some of the spices included. The added lemon juice and orange zest give it an especially interesting taste. In fact, one of my first thoughts after tasting it was “This tastes like gourmet.”

I also love any excuse to break out my Dutch oven and since the apples cooked for 90 minutes in it, it’s starting to move beyond being used only to make bread.

1 recipe down, 1,055 to go!

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