Friday, November 4, 2011

Roasted Cranberry-Apple Sauce

I love chilly weather.  I love sweaters and fuzzy slippers and, Lord help me, I love my Snuggie.

Photo from Snuggie Sightings.  Bet you didn't know that was a thing!

Apparently, I'm not the only one.

Other things I love about the advent of chilly weather: roasting and baking!  Squash, apples, and cranberries.  Warm spicy drinks.  The Starbucks holiday cup!  Although I do think it's just a bit early for department stores to be busting out the Christmas music and decorations.

Seriously, though - I love roasted food.  And in the summer it feels almost like a sin to fire up the oven for dinner.  When it's cold (and you're quickly realizing that your apartment does not have the insulation quality you might hope for), firing up the oven is comforting and practical and fills your house with happy smells!  Especially if you make this roasted applesauce, which was one of the best experiments I've tried in a while.

This recipe is so simple and delicious - sweet apples, tart cranberries, and a spicy punch of fresh grated ginger. I used a mixture of apples that I had leftover from the Bucktown Apple Pie Contest (which I just realized I never told you about!  Silly me!).  Make sure to select apples that are good for baking or sauce, like Cortland, Jonathan, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, and Northern Spy.  See this article from Midwest Living for a great primer on the relative virtues of different types of apples.  When you mix different types together, you get a more complex flavor in the finished product.

So pretty!

Roasted Cranberry-Apple Sauce

About 10 pounds fresh apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped (about 20 large apples)
1 bag fresh cranberries, picked over for soft or rotten-looking ones
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  Spray a large roasting pan (or a couple of smaller pans, if you're like me) with nonstick cooking spray, and spread the apple and cranberry mixture out in an even layer.  Place pan into the oven, and roast for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  When the cranberries have burst, and the apples are completely soft and juicy, remove from the oven and mash with a potato masher.  Taste and add more maple syrup if you like.

Yield: 3 pints

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