This recipe comes from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. I usually make this recipe in massive batches every year after we go apple picking and then can it for the winter. There's nothing better than homemade applesauce, a little bit reheated, for dessert. I've also made some apple-pear and apple-blackberry varieties over the year, that were also quite delicious. As I don't have any time to get out my canning supplies these days, I settled with making us a triple batch to eat over the next several days instead.
We went back up to Les Vergers Lafrance again yesterday morning for another apple-picking adventure. We were almost already done our 20 lb. bag that we picked two weeks ago and I figured we could always eat our way through another bag. It was a beautiful day and, with Jerome's cousin visiting from France, we figured it'd give her a chance to experience a Canadian fall tradition.
The author suggests that you do not need to use the spices when making this with fresh fall apples. However, she says that you should add both the spices and butter when making this with apples kept long into the winter, to add to the flavour. I've always made this recipe in the fall, and have never added either any sugar or butter (though I do use the spices) and I've always found it flavourful as is. You can play around to see what you prefer.
8 tart apples
1/2-inch cinnamon stick (optional)
2 cloves (optional)
2 tbsp. butter (optional)
few gratings of nutmeg (optional)
Cut the apples in large chunks; pare and core them if you do not have a food mill. Put them in a pot, add a very small amount of water, about 2 tbsp. sugar, and the cinnamon and cloves, if you wish. Cover and cook slowly until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Put the apples through a food mill to remove the skins, seeds and spices, or simply remove the spices if you have peeled and cored the apples before cooking them. Stir in the butter, if you like, and add more sugar to taste and nutmeg if desired.