pink applesauce

My grandmother wasn’t a big fan of cooking. She wasn’t a bad cook, but just didn’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. She made food that was, for the most part, pretty uncomplicated. When possible, she would use shortcuts.

For example, when making apple sauce, she wouldn’t peel the apples first. She would just steam them right in their skins, and then mash them in some sort of a ricer. I remember her using some tart apples that grew in her back yard, with skin that ranged from green to light red. The resulting apple sauce would have a bit of a pink tinge to it.

I made apple sauce a few weeks ago with some of the apples that we picked the weekend before. And like my grandmother, I didn’t bother to peel them first. I just quartered up about a dozen of them, and cut the cores out. Then I steamed them in a big pot. When the apples were soft, their flesh just separated right from the skins. I pulled off the skins, and plopped the apples into a food processor. The deep red skins of the Empire apples tinted the resulting sauce to a rich rose color. There was also quite a lot of juice that pooled in the pan, and since I’d used only a bit of water to steam, the juice was not only pink, but really tasty.

Pink apple sauce (and juice) and an Empire apple.
Pink apple sauce (and juice) and an Empire apple.
The rosy apple juice byproduct of steaming unpeeled apples for apple sauce.
The rosy apple juice byproduct of steaming unpeeled apples for apple sauce. (This photo shows the color a bit better, though the light's not as pretty.)

14 thoughts on “pink applesauce

  1. Here’s a geeky insight for you, of which you’re no doubt already well aware. Most of the nutrients of a fruit or vegetable are immediately below the skin, so peeling before cooking tends to lift off the layer of goodness as well as the skin. Your pink applesauce, as well as being pretty and tasty, was probably infinitely better for you than the beige alternative.

    Potato salad is also much, much tastier when you cook the potatoes with the skin on.

  2. that top photo is gorgeous.

    i made some apple pies a few weeks back with winesaps – the red hue of the skins carried through the flesh, which i’d never seen before. pretty neat.

  3. *that* is some beautiful juice. why oh why don’t they bottle that stuff? imagine it in rows of sparkling glass in the store…curses to our preconceived notions of straw-colored apple juice!

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