basics: homemade applesauce

applesauce title page

Happy Hanukkah,  everyone!

I’m sure all of my fellow shiksahs in the kitchen can agree that the holidays can be a doozy.  As much as you love to cook, you’ll never shine a light to the recipe that has been passed down by tough critics.   I’ve made my fair share of high-holiday-hiccups (starting with a milchigs fork mix-up and ending with bringing a butter-laden bread pudding to Thanksgiving) but this applesauce is not one of them.  It’s the perfect way to preserve your apples and requires only two added ingredients.  And during Hanukkah, you won’t find a better topping for your potato latkes.

You’ll need: (for 2 cups applesauce)
4 apples, mixed
1 tbs honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup water

ingredients

We used Red Macintosh and Pink Lady apples for this recipe.  You can use whichever are in season (the farmer’s market usually has enough apple samples out to give you a tummy ache), but I recommend a mix of apples to elevate the depth of flavors.  Start by peeling your apples roughly (a little apple skin never hurt anyone) and chopping them into cubes.  Add them to a saucepan with the water over medium heat, until they’re just simmering.

apples in pot 1

Add the cinnamon and honey and stir.  In the past, I’ve used white sugar for the sweetness in my applesauce, but switched to honey because, well, apples and honey taste great together.

Let the whole mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.  Then, using a hand potato masher (or a food processor if you’re looking for a really smooth sauce), mash the apples until they look like applesauce.

apples in pot 2

Serve over freshly-fried latkes and or just enjoy as a sweet snack.

applesauce final

xoxo,

the hungry texans

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herbed honey biscuits

I arrived home in Houston to a mountain of Saveur magazines (really! look how many there are!), and immediately started paging through them. The first recipe that screamed, “make me! make me!” was for these herbed honey biscuits. I knew they’d be the perfect addition to our Thanksgiving menu and their ease was an attractive alternative to more time-consuming yeast rolls. They’re ideal for any holiday bread basket, sopping up soup, or a savory twist to your breakfast (my egg, gruyere, herb biscuit breakfast sandwich this morning was preeeetttty tasty!).

For ~15 biscuits, gather these ingredients:

3 3/4 self-rising flour

1 heaping tbl chopped rosemary

1 heaping tbl thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

6 tbls chilled, cubed butter

1 c buttermilk

3 tbl 1/2 & 1/2

1 heaping tbl honey

This is a roll-up-your-sleeves, play-with-your-food, get-your-hands-dirty type of recipe. Start by mixing your dry ingredients in a big bowl and then add all your cubed butter and start mixing it with your flour mixture. Keep playing until your mixture is a crumbly consistency and all the butter is worked into the flour in ittty bitty balls. Wash your hands & then mix in your dairy & your honey. Mix, mix, mix until your dough is a sticky, cohesive ball.

Dump your ball out onto a very well floured surface and roll it out so it’s about an inch think. Cut ’em out and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 20 to 30 minutes until they’re golden brown!