Swing open my fridge door and you’d find at least five different varieties of hot sauce. Next to the hot sauce: curry paste, fish sauce, three varieties of mustard, olives, pickles and capers. The ketchup, likely expired at this point, has been forced back with the addition of each new condiment to a barely visible corner. It’s clear our household likes bold and spicy flavors. Let me be honest, these staples provide a quick shortcut to delicious and easy food and I love using them. But when you make a vegetable curry dish, do you taste the vegetables or just the spice? I was reminded this week of how good simple food can be.
I don’t spend enough time tasting my food. I put hot sauce on everything. But that needs to change so this week I ran a little experience that forced me to really taste my food. I sliced up four different varieties of apples and tasted a slice of each. Which apple did I like better? I liked one variety for it’s crunch, another had the perfect mix of tart and sweet, yet another had the most beautiful aromatic, almost berry-like smell. In the end I couldn’t really decide which I liked better but I did one thing differently, I actually tasted my food.
In this applesauce there are just two ingredients: apples and cinnamon sticks. Ok well actually three, but I don’t count salt as an ingredient. You’ll taste something that we don’t really think too much about. You’ll taste pure apple. I used four different varieties and each adds a different flavor. Using many varieties created a nuanced and unique applesauce that you could never get from a jar. Choose a mix of apples of varying characteristics, making sure to include both crisp and sweet varieties. There is no added sugar because it’s fall and apples are plenty sweet enough. Cinnamon sticks are added instead of ground cinnamon for a slight touch of warming spice.
Two Ingredient Crockpot Applesauce
3 lbs, or ~12 apples
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp sea salt
Slice and core the apples. Add to the crockpot, tucking 2 cinnamon sticks into apples. Cook on low for 8 hours or overnight. Mash cooked apples with a spoon to desired consistency. Transfer to a container. Applesauce can be served warm or cold.
Special Equipment Needed: Crockpot