My mom sometimes says she’s not a good cook, but she’s wrong. She was the first person I learned cooking from and her influence remains in many of my dishes.
One of the most important things she taught me was the love for homemade foods. When I was a child, we never ate spaghetti from a can, macaroni from a box or applesauce from a jar.
Of those three things, applesauce is by far the easiest. Homemade applesauce is vastly superior to the supermarket puree, which generally contains no spices. When you make it yourself, you can use any apple and enhance its flavor with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove and a touch of lemon juice.
I like to start with pretty tart apples, usually Granny Smith for applesauce and leave it pretty chunky. It’s the perfect accompaniment to pork chops and also goes great over vanilla ice cream.
4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground clove
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Combine apples, water, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until apples are very soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.