At the Shaker Village in Hancock, Massachusetts, dinner is prepared for visitors every Saturday during the summer months. In the Great Cook Room, a large basement kitchen reflecting traditional Shaker style, the best of Shaker cookery is recreated in simple, homey dishes such as pot roast baked in cranberry sauce. At one of the meals, I enjoyed a golden applesauce that was served as an accompaniment. The cook told me that she began by boiling up a syrup of apple cider and then “threw” the apples in. I proceeded a bit more cautiously in my kitchen. The sweet flavor of the cider underlines the distinctive fall taste of the combination of Mcintosh, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith apples. A cinnamon stick and lemon zest brighten the flavor of this super-chunky sauce.
Yield: Makes about 4 cups
8 apples (a combination of McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup apple cider
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cinnamon stick (1 inch long)
1. Core, peel, and cut the apples into large chunks, tossing them with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
2. Place the apples and all the remaining ingredients in a large heavy pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until the apples are very tender, 15 minutes.
3. Uncover the pot and cook 5 minutes more.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, covered, until ready to use, up to 5 days.