“Applesauce for Everyone.” That was the title of a Cook’s Illustrated magazine article in their “Fall Harvest Recipes” special edition. Publishers are still publishing magazines and twice in the last year, I’ve impulsively thrown Cook’s Illustrated on the conveyor belt behind my toilet paper and bleach wipes. The magazine has been in circulation since 1993; it’s associated with the PBS cooking show America’s Test Kitchen. The magazine and the PBS show were founded by a man in a bow tie named Christopher Kimball.
I enjoy the magazine and if I had a trust fund and did not need to knead dough at the Financial Services Test Kitchen for my daily bread, I would happily spend my life reading back issues and streaming episodes of the show. And cooking, of course.
“Applesauce for Everyone” was a lengthy dissertation about the best way to make applesauce if you did not own a food mill. Should you peel or not peel your apples? What is the best type of apple to use? How chunky should your applesauce be? The article’s author decided that the peels and cores were instrumental to good flavor and described a tedious process of peeling and coring the apples and then cooking them separately from the apple meats. The peels and cores were then simmered and strained, creating an apple liqueur to be added to the apple meats when they were mashed with a hand masher.
Or something like that. Thank goodness I have a food mill. The thing worked like a charm and in less than 30 minutes, I had a jar of delicious applesauce.
Making applesauce is easy. Maine’s own Marjorie Standish described the process in about 150 words in her book, Keep Cooking the Maine Way. Quarter, steam, mill, and sweeten. Boom. Done.
Thanks, Marjorie, for being a graceful cooking ghost and guide. I’ll be bringing the applesauce to the empty Thanksgiving table this year.