Friday, October 7, 2011

Roasted Cardamom Applesauce

Ahhh...FALL. My favorite season. I love the chillier weather, wearing sweaters, the smell of fires burning in fireplaces, the colored leaves...and the apples!
We went on our annual apple picking trip recently and brought home many, many pounds of apples. If I get my act together, hopefully I will have more apple recipes coming your way. But, for now, I'm starting off with homemade applesauce. There's a vintage recipe here for plain old applesauce, which is delicious as is. But, this year I was inspired to try something new.
A few weekends ago I attended a workshop in NYC. The event was catered by an amazing prepared food shop in Brooklyn, NY called Radish. On the first day, one of the lunch items served was a Cardamom Spiced Applesauce. It was hugely popular and even people who claimed to not really care for applesauce were loving it. All I could think of was how much my boys would love some! So, that was my mission...finding out how to make something similar. I didn't have Radish's exact recipe, but found something online that looked like it might fit the bill.
It's pretty much exactly how I would normally make applesauce, except instead of steaming the apples in a bit of water, these are roasted. Then, of course, there's cardamom added...which is really what gives it a unique flavor. We had ours with breaded pork chops, mashed potatoes and green peas {basically my all time favorite dinner...ever}.

Roasted Cardamom Applesauce

Inspired by the Cardamom Applesauce at Radish in Brooklyn, NY | Recipe adapted from Well Fed
Serves 6
If you own a food mill, I recommend leaving the skins, seeds and stems on the apples. This gives the applesauce a pink color, and deepens the flavor. Once processed through the mill all the seeds and skins will be removed. This also eliminates the tedious task of peeling so many apples. If you don't have one, peel and core the apples first, and mash the sauce by hand with a potato masher, or in a food processor. If preferred, you can use ground cardamom, but I recommend taking the time to grind your own as cardamom loses some of it's intense flavor as it sits on the store shelf.

3 pounds McIntosh apples
8 cardamom pods
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

special equipment {optional}: a food mill, mortar and pestle, and a 9 x 12 baking dish

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Cut the apples into quarters and set aside.
Slice the cardamom pods open with a sharp knife and pick out the little seeds inside. Place them into a mortar and grind them until medium ground. {You don't want them too chunky, or ground into a fine powder...something in the middle would be perfect.}
Add the ground cardamom seeds to the baking pan along with the water, sea salt, brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir with a wooden spoon or whisk to combine. Add the apples and toss well. Roast for 40 minutes, or until tender and beginning to caramelize. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Process through the food mill and serve right away {warm}, or store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to a week.
Click here for the printable recipe.


Joanne said...

Cardamom is definitely one of my favorite warm spices. The word I would definitely use to describe this is "unreal".

Kathleen Richardson said...

I have cardamom pods sitting in my cupboard that I've used for nothing but Indian "carrot pudding". Thank you, thank you, for the new idea!

Anonymous said...

Sounds amazing! I think I might try to use this applesauce in this cupcake I've been experimenting with :)

Kathleen Richardson said...

I made the Roasted Cardamom Applesauce today with apples from my daughter's tree. Omigosh, how good it is! I'm not sure what it is about the cardamom--the taste or the smell--that I like better. Thanks for this simple, delicious recipe.

Liz said...

Perfect! We're planning to make and preserve apple sauce this week and this recipe sounds ideal. Do you think it would can well?

katie said...

Hi Liz - Hope you enjoy the recipe! I didn't make enough to can this batch, but I would imagine it would work well. The only issue is that the cardamom flavor might lose some of it's punch over time. You may try increasing the quantity a bit to make up for it?
Also, I would recommend keeping the applesauce hot until you're ready to can.
Hope this helps + thanks for visiting!

katie said...

Kathleen - You're very welcome. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

katie said...

carrots + cream - I was thinking this applesauce would be great in an applesauce cake...if you try it, let me know how it turns out.

Anna said...

My mom makes the best applesauce...I never bothered getting the procedure from her because I always get my share of a few bottles everytime she makes a batch. I want to try this and perhaps repay my mom for the endless applesauce I have had for years. I'm sure (if I succeed in this) she'll be proud of me...Thanks!

Brooke said...

I have recently developed a serious hard-core crush on cardamom. This looks like a great way to develop an even deeper relationship!

Sally - My Custard Pie said...

Lovely recipe - and so impressed that you can make brown mush look beautiful!

Renee @ The Way to My Family's Heart said...

Made this today with the fuji apples in my yard. I cut back on the cardomom a tiny bit (though after tasting it I wish I hadn't) and added some freshly ground nutmeg instead of the cinnamon. I also used honey instead of the brown sugar (I seem to be obsessed with it lately). It is hands down the best applesauce I've ever had. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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