ALTHOUGH SOME might wonder what applesauce is doing in a section on vegetables, I have included it here because I use it as an accompaniment to pork, veal, ham, goose, duck, and chicken. I serve the applesauce both warm, as the French do, and cold.
Applesauce is traditionally made by quartering unpeeled apples, cooking them with water to cover, and then pushing the cooked apples through a fine-mesh sieve or food mill, leaving the skins and seeds behind. I prefer to peel and core the apples before cooking them, thus also eliminating the need for a food mill or sieve. Instead of cooking the apples in water, I cook them à l’étuvée, simply in their own moisture, until they are soft enough to whisk into a smooth sauce.
I still find myself making applesauce with Golden Delicious apples, but I expect this is simply from my many years of using this variety. Actually any apple you like the taste of will make a good applesauce (see what you can find at your local farmers’ market). But start by making a batch with Goldens, then try the applesauce using other varieties and see what becomes your favorite.
The quantities given here are merely to give you an idea as to how much applesauce you will get from 3 pounds of apples. Obviously, you can make as much or as little as you like. Be sure you use a saucepan with a heavy bottom and tight-fitting lid.