How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Saucy Vegan Sauce

Image: Mass Dept of Agriculture
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Today's entry is about making quick use of a lot of apples purchased a week or more ago that I wanted to use while they were still decent. And a couple of pears.

I took the lot of them -- about seven smallish apples and two big pears -- and cut them down to small bits. I normally leave skins on apples when I cook with them, but I felt like trying to make a saucy sauce, so I peeled them. Also, I usually employ a handy apple corer to start the job, but these were small enough that I thought I should avoid the wastage by taking a couple extra minutes to make and trim small wedges myself.

The assembled bits covered the bottom of our indispensible cast-iron skillet. Over them, I sprinkled about a quarter cup each of granulated white (though the organic stuff is not really that white) and brown sugars, along with a generous sprinkle each of cinnamon and nutmeg. Without stirring, I covered the pan and put it in the oven at 250 for over a couple of hours. (I turned it off when I realized I had to leave the house for a long while; it did not seem to hurt anything.)

Then I added about a half cup of Nicaraguan rum (any rum would do, I'm sure, though I'm fond of the brown, aged rums). I left it uncovered for another hour or two, using a potato masher to squish the fruit after much of the liquid had evaporated. I let it cook down a bit more, and then put it in the fridge until dinner time.

Careful readers of this space will realize that this apple recipe bears a striking resemblance to the Cranberry "Recipe" Recipe (that's not a typo) we posted in October. The differences are that I cooked this a lot longer, and that I eventually did stir (even crush) the sauce. More importantly, I reduced the sugar because apples are sweeter than cranberries and I reduced the rum because I realized that two cups worth required a lot of time to evaporate, and was a bit of a waste.

When cooled, the sauce was a good side dish for our standard sweet potato quesadillas (which do not really need a sauce), accompanied by our White House Honey Brown Ale. I was able to cook the vegetables for the quesadillas in the same pan as the cranberries (barely wiped clean), adding a bit of sweetness to the savory main course.

The sauce itself was deliciously cool, sweet and spicy, though with enough body that it might have served even better as a pie filling.

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