For most purposes, I think of myself as a Texan even though we moved to Ohio right before I started third grade. All of my family is from there, many of them still live there, and I just love Texas. So now that I’ve spent seven and a half years out of Ohio (college, law school, now being an adult, allegedly), it always surprises me when I crave things that are Ohio-y. For example, this year, I just really, really wanted to go apple picking.
Admittedly, when it comes to fall, Ohio beats Texas any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Mainly because Ohio actually has fall.
But once you get all nostalgic for autumn in Ohio and go apple picking, what do you do with a bushel of apples? Well, I did lots and lots of things, but one of the reasons I got far more apples than you’d need for some apple pies is that the beloved carnivore loves applesauce.
During the course of our having-lots-of-apples, I made several batches of applesauce. I made three different types: regular applesauce (for me), super-sweet applesauce (for him), and this blueberry applesauce.
This was one of those random things I sometimes come up with in the kitchen. We had some blueberry wine, and I thought, “I wonder how it would taste to use blueberry wine instead of water to make applesauce?” Then I did it, and both the beloved carnivore and I thought, “yum.”
Blueberry wine is kind of a random ingredient, I realize. If I hadn’t had that, I probably would’ve pureed and strained some blueberries and used half blueberry puree and half water instead of blueberry wine. I also think this would work with lots of flavored, fruity wines. I will experiment more next time I have a bushel of apples (if I remember) and report back.
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
- 6 lb firm apples (using mixes of yellow/green apples and red ones works best)
- 1 1/2 cups blueberry wine
- 6 TBSP sugar (taste your wine first, use less sugar if it’s super sweet)
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- scant 1/4 tsp ground ginger optional)
Peel and core the apples (I spent all of 16 bucks on one of those apple peeling machines and am in love with it). Chop the apples into rough, 1 1/2 inch-sized pieces and place in a large pot.
Pour the wine over the apples. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon sticks, and spices.
Bring to a simmer or low boil over medium heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the apple pieces are soft (but not falling apart). Stir and mash occasionally while cooking – I like to gently use a potato masher instead of a wooden spoon toward the end.
Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cinnamon sticks.
You can use a potato masher and go to town for a chunkier applesauce, or you can use one of my other newish favorite toys, an immersion blender, and make the applesauce perfectly smooth. (The beloved carnivore prefers smooth, I prefer chunky, we’re a real Romeo and Juliet story in the kitchen sometimes).
Store in the fridge. Based on my own experience and online research, it should last in the fridge at least a week, but I make no promises. It lasts a long time in the freezer. I once froze homemade applesauce for over six months, brought it out, made applesauce cake, and it tasted just like fall even though it was May.
We discovered that the blueberry flavor really becomes more pronounced once the applesauce is cool.