Raspberry Flavored Applesauce

When life gives you an overload of apples what do you do? Don't sweat it -- just make applesauce! Last week we had a situation where we ended up with lots and lots of apples sitting on the counter-top waiting to be used! Good part about my lack of sweet tooth is that I am always looking for some not-so-sweet ways to prepare a light fruit based sweet dish which we'll love and won't seem like a mere idea of a dessert to our guests :) This one fits the bill perfectly!

Raspberry adds a nice pinkish red hue to the sauce which I loved! Surprisingly it also paired really well with apples. Lemon juice is necessary to bring out the apple flavor and cardamom just puts the whole dish together for me! Next time I want to try this with some apple liquor, I bet it will add a nice edge to this dish :) I did a test taste and was so pleasantly surprised by these apple-raspberry flavors that in a hurry to eat it all I did not even care much about the picture!

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I don't think I need to blog about health benefits of apples; the saying "an apple a day.." says it all! Apples are a great source of anti-oxidants which are crucial for heart-health. They are also loaded with fibers and the pulp and the skin of apples is a very good source of flavonoids which have been linked with reducing inflammation. Overall apples are just a great fruit to enjoy while also supporting your heart health! More about health benefits of apples here.

A post about apples just won't be complete without mentioning 'Botany of Desire': there is this really nice documentary called 'Botany of Desire' by Michael Pollan which I saw on TV recently which explores the human-plant symbiotic relationships. A really wonderfully done and information watch! It had a section in there for apples and the history of apples. For anyone interested, here is a link to the PBS video for this documentary (follow apple).

Now without further ado here is the recipe for Raspberry flavored Apple Sauce:
5 large apples (I used Fuji but any good cooking apple would work)
10 frozen raspberries
1.5C water (little less for smaller apples -- see note below)
2Tbsp sugar (This really depends on the sweetness of apples and how sweet/tart you want the final dish to be -- my apples were very very sweet so I used very little sugar. Start with this amount and taste after apple sauce is cooked, you can always add more sugar later if its not sweet enough)
1 cardamom pod -- crushed
1tsp lemon juice
(next time I want to add some apple liquor here for some zing :D)

  1. Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple into 8 small pieces.
  2. Add the apple pieces, raspberries, sugar and 1.5C water in a heavy bottomed pan.
  3. Cover and let the mixture come to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and cook uncovered for around 30-35mins until most of the apple chunks have fallen apart and the sauce has reached desired consistency. While the apples are cooking keep stirring regularly so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan. As you progress if the applesauce seems too thick, add some more water. If applesauce seems very watery, let it cook a bit extra uncovered. Remove from heat.
  4. Using a potato masher mash the sauce. I like chunky pieces in this sauce, but if you prefer a smoother sauce then run it through a blender or food processor.
  5. Add lemon juice and cardamom. Taste for sugar.
  6. Enjoy chilled!
Note: The recipe above is for 5 large apples. For smaller apples, I would guess you should reduce water to 1C and then add more on a need-basis. Same goes with sugar. Taste it after its done, add more sugar if needed.
    A chilled cup of this raspberry flavored applesauce with a raspberry topping flies straight to Yasmeen for the health-nut challenge3 : apples.