Apples are one of the iconic symbols of autumn. Luckily, the amazing flavor of autumn apples need not be lost when winter arrives. By making applesauce in the fall and preserving it in jars, you can pair autumn apples with your Hanukkah latkes, even when snow is on the ground and winter is undeniable. Latkes and applesauce is a traditional Hanukkah combination, a delicious pairing of salty and sweet, crunchy and soft, warm and cool.This recipe for applesauce is quite simple and can be adjusted to your taste following some of the suggestions below. Because each apple variety has its own properties (some varieties are sweeter, others add a tart flavor), it is advisable to use a mixture of apples.
approx 6 lbs apples (about 10-12 apples)
1/2 cup liquid–white wine, water, or apple juice (your choice)
2 cinnamon sticks
Cloves, allspice, ground ginger, and nutmeg (optional, to taste)
Peel the apples, leaving about a quarter unpeeled to provide color. Chop the apples and place in a 6-quart pot with a lid. Pour in a half cup of the liquid of your choice, so that there is about an inch of liquid covering the bottom of the pot. Add cinnamon sticks and any of the other optional spices.
Cover the pot, and turn the flame on high. When the liquid starts boiling, turn to medium high. Cook until the apples are soft–at least half an hour, but it could take up to an hour. If it is runny, continue to cook until desired consistency, stirring regularly. The sauce should be chunky, but if you want a smoother consistency, you can break up large chunks with a spoon.
If you’re going to eat the applesauce fresh, let it cool and store in the refrigerator. Eat it within a week.
Pronounced: KHAH-nuh-kah, also ha-new-KAH, an eight-day festival commemorating the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks and subsequent rededication of the temple. Falls in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually corresponds with December.