September 18, 2011

The Switch-Over

I’m afraid to report that I think I’ve made the seasonal switch in our kitchen.

Buh-bye panzanellas with fresh veggies, corn on the cob, yogurt marinated chicken on the grill, and fresh tomato everything.

Today I welcomed back homemade applesauce and chili.

I was actually happy to have a gloomy day today. Don’t get me wrong—I love beautiful summer weather—but there is something relieving about the weather being crappy because it quickly narrows down the potential list of things to do. Because it was damp and cold all day, I could hole up inside with not one ounce of guilt. And make applesauce and chili.

Homemade applesauce is easy to make once you get past the peeling (and I’ve been known to not peel and whirl all of the cooked goodness through the blender before). But this Roasted Pear & Apple Sauce recipe is even easier because you put it in the oven and can forget about it for an hour. You can set a timer or not. The smell actually started wafting throughout the house at 1 hour which was my reminder. It seriously worked like magic.

There is something to be said for dropping everything into a pot, not even stirring it all, and having it transform into something delicious and wonderful while under the lid. And that is what this applesauce does.

The butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon sit on top of the whole mess of apples and pears and seep down and somehow incorporate themselves into perfection.

After it comes out of the oven, you get to whisk it to break up the remaining chunks and then just stand over the pot and smell it. And that’s it.

It somehow makes fall seem not so bad…

Roasted Pear & Apple Sauce, Adapted very slightly from How Easy is That? by Ina Garten

Zest and juice of 2 navel oranges
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 lbs apples (I used Haralsons), peeled and quartered
3 lbs Bosc pears, peeled and quartered
½ c light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

Place zests and juices of the oranges and lemon in Le Creuset dutch oven. Add the apples and pears; stir. Place brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon on top. Cover and bake for just over an hour, until the apples and pears are tender. Whisk sauce until chunky. Serve warm or at room temp.

Makes 8 servings.

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