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Santé Et Nutrition

Why I’ll Never Buy Applesauce Again

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Every Wednesday night, Bon Appétit food director Carla Lalli Music takes over our newsletter with a sleeper-hit recipe from the Test Kitchen vault. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll get this letter before everyone else.

The only way to make applesauce

Attention leaf peepers! I see you out there, exercising your rights to participate in the annual apple harvest, showing the kiddies that apples do indeed grow on trees, eating still-warm cider doughnuts and pretending you can detect actual apple cider flavor contained therein.

It’s a beautiful day, the one you spend apple picking. The last time I went, I had to wrestle an incredibly sticky caramel apple away from my then-3-year-old before we got into the car because I was afraid his baby teeth would be torn right out of his head if he tried to take another bite. He screamed for 45 minutes afterward, and I spent that time trying to come up with ways to use the 15 pounds of apples we somehow managed to pick and pay for. Of course, there’s pie. But let’s be real: Even a deep dish pie only requires about six apples. Not even going to make a dent. You could make a second pie, I suppose, if you feel like competing with yourself (I can relate).

ba recipe apple cheddar pie 1

Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Kate Buckens

You can make apple-cheddar pie, but it won’t use up that many apples.

But after a day or two of apple salads, apples and cheese, and apple cake, you’re still going to be staring down a giant sack of apples. And there’s only one thing to do at that point: make applesauce.

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The only applesauce to make is the one inspired by Julia Child, because duh what else do you need to know? The other reason to make it Julia’s way is because it requires the most minimal amount of effort. This recipe works with any type of apple, and it works if you mix and match all the ones you happen have on hand. Even better, you don’t even have to peel them! Just cut them in half, put them in a big pot with a cinnamon stick, some lemon juice, and a vanilla bean (or vanilla extract), then cover the pot and cook on medium-low. Et voilà: 35 minutes later, you’ve got mush. As an extremely intelligent reader sums it up on our recipe page: “Wow. That was shockingly easy. Five minutes of prep (including climbing the stepladder to dig up the cinnamon sticks) and 30 minutes later I had applesauce!”

Shockingly easy. Are there two more beautiful words to a home cook’s ears? The thing I have to climb the stepladder for is my food mill, which I use only a few times a year, and this is one of the recipes that helps it earn its keep. Once the apples have surrendered to the cooking process, morphing from a solid to a semi-solid state, I scoop them into my food mill and crank away, which efficiently purees their flesh and skins and holds back the seeds and tough bis of core. The finished sauce has a beautiful color (and added nutritional value) thanks to those skins, but you’d never know they were there. I also truly enjoy the fact that I don’t have to scoop out the seeds before cooking, because—again—the pies have exhausted me.

food-mill

Alex Lau

A food mill is your best friend for making applesauce.

If you don’t have a food mill, go buy one. If you don’t want to buy one, use a melon baller to scoop out the cores from the raw apples prior to cooking, which is pretty easy, especially if you offer a child 25 cents per apple to do this for you. (After cooking, you can use a potato masher, a food processor, or a blender instead of the food mill.)

When this process is done, several amazing things will have happened. First of all, your house will smell incredible. If you are trying to sell your house, make applesauce an hour before the open house and I guarantee you’ll get multiple offers and then there will be a bidding war. The giant satchel of apples that you thought was going to be in a corner of the kitchen for the rest of your life will be gone, and instead there will be a few quart containers of warm applesauce on your countertop. Before you even put any of it in the fridge, dish up a bowl and drizzle over a little cold heavy cream and give that a go, because it is an insanely good combo. If you thought applesauce was only for children, this warm-cool cinnamon meets dairy fat situation will make you rethink it, bigly.

Applesauce will keep in the fridge for at least a week and quite possibly longer. It makes a thoughtful hostess gift but it also makes a great breakfast (with Greek yogurt!). On the off chance that you feel like baking again next weekend, you can simmer it until it is concentrated and jammy and use it in this apple cake recipe.

apple-butter-spice-cake-with-cinnamon-glaze.jpg

I also love apple cake.

I don’t think I’m going apple picking this fall, because I don’t want to have another fight with my kid about caramel-coated apples. Instead, I’m going to devote an entire tote to some of this season’s apples from the farmers’ market. I tried the Snapdragon variety the other day—snappy, juicy, a little spicy! Last year I fell in love with the rough-skinned Golden Russet, a hardy type whose tough exterior can withstand nasty whipping winds. I love the flavor of an Empire, but the texture is meh—a great candidate for sauce. There’s concentrated flavor in the Pippin and the Winesap, and even if I find myself with a bruised or mealy one, I know it will end up in a good place.

Get the recipe:

Classic Applesauce



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Santé Et Nutrition

The Only Pasta I Make For My Best Friend Has 8 Cloves of Garlic

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Most friends give friends who just moved into a new home a nice bottle of wine, maybe some paper towels if they’re practical. Me? For my best friend? I brought her a whole head of garlic, a bag of wide-leg pappardelle, a tub of olive oil, and fist-size portions of basil and parsley. Then I made lunch.

Specifically, Andy Baraghani’s extremely simple but extremely satisfying pasta riddled with bronzed flecks of garlic, bracing Castelvetrano olives, and all those leafy herbs. It was an elegant and complex meal—“bright, herby, and a little briny,” as Andy described it over Slack—and it couldn’t be easier to pull off.

Even while totally distracted by our conversation about the very dark but very fascinating Dr. Death podcast, I could still absentmindedly boil the pasta water and smash eight—yes, eight—garlic cloves in olive oil until they look like little golden nuggets. While my friend and I batted around theories about how this neurosurgeon could have kept going after committing 33 botched surgeries (insane hubris? Actual ignorance?), I tossed those nuggets with red pepper flakes, pitted Castelvetranos, and chopped parsley. “It’s a way to mellow out the grassy parsley flavor,” Andy Slacked me. (We only communicate via Slack, like true millennial coworkers.)

Once the pasta was just under al dente, I should have paused the conversation to gently move the noodles from the hot water to the garlic-parsley-olive sauce. But hindsight is 20/20, and instead I burned my forearms with hot splashes. However, I was undeterred because here came the best part: butter. I threw in a few tablespoons of butter and a splash of pasta water to give the sauce the kind of dewy gloss promised by Korean face masks. We finished the dish with sweet, fat basil leaves, a little lemon zest, and a couple teaspoons of lemon juice, and rushed the pot to the table. Then, silence. All conversation ceased as we slurped each butter-drenched strand straight from the Dutch oven. No Dr. Death theory could pry us away from Andy’s pitch-perfect pasta.

This is a pasta that celebrates the glory of garlic: how it makes everything taste better, stinks a little, and always seems to linger on. It’s a little bit like a friendship that’s weathered years in an AC-less bedroom, break-ups, maid of honor speeches, new jobs, and very adult accomplishments. And that’s why it’s the perfect thing to make your best friend.

Get the recipe:

herby-pasta-with-garlic-and-green-olives.jpg



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Cranberry-Fig Sauce Recipe | Bon Appetit

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Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallot and rosemary, stirring often, until shallot is starting to turn golden, about 4 minutes. Add cranberries, figs, brown sugar, vinegar, ½ tsp. salt, and red pepper flakes and increase heat to medium-high.

cranberry fig sauce process 4

Photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Kalen Kaminski



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Santé Et Nutrition

This Lemon-Ginger Brew Will Save You from the Clutches of Cold Season

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Welcome to Never Fail, a weekly column where we wax poetic about the recipes that never, ever let us down.

Flu season hit the BA office this week in a tidal wave of tissues, Emergen-C packets, and out-of-office messages. Which is why, after scheduling my annual flu shot and dousing everything on my desk with hand sanitizer, I headed home to make a double batch of lemon-ginger brew.

Forget green juice. Forget echinacea tea. When it comes to restorative liquids, this lemon-ginger brew is the real MVP. It’s a high-octane concoction from food director Carla Lalli Music, who has two kids and knows a thing or two about soothing sore throats.

How to Make Soothing Lemon Ginger Brew

The three-ingredient recipe is minimal, which is good, because no sick person wants to do a lot of chopping and stirring anyway. All you need to do to get things going is toss some peeled ginger knobs (about a half pound) in a food processor and pulse them into a coarse paste. (If you don’t have a food processor, use the larger holes of a box grater or give those knobs a fine chop. It’s a bit more work, but the chopped up ginger will do just fine.)

Add the ginger to a medium saucepan with 6 cups of water, bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 30–40 minutes. Use this time for a steamy shower, or even a power nap. (Just don’t forget to set an alarm!) Strain the ginger chunks out with a fine mesh sieve, then squeeze two or three lemons worth of juice into the pot and add agave syrup (or honey, or pure maple syrup) to taste. Just like that, the brew is done.

Once made, this brew can hang out in the fridge for up to two weeks—plenty of time to soothe a sore throat while your white blood cells do their healing work. I prefer to heat it up before serving, so the fiery ginger is extra pungent. It’s the kind of burn that makes you really feel like something is working, and I need that. Plus: It’s delicious.

This is the time where I should probably acknowledge that, no, this drink isn’t magical. It won’t cure you of whatever ails you, and you should definitely still get a flu shot. Still, there’s something about the holy trinity of honey, ginger, and lemon that soothes your body and your soul. And it pairs excellently with non-sick days too, making rainy mornings and quiet nights at home feel infinitely cozier with minimal effort. So make ginger, lemons, and honey part of your pantry (and fridge) staples, and you’ll never be far from a mug of this cozy and restorative brew. Think of it as insurance against the next time flu season hits .

It’s time to brew:

lemon-ginger-brew



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