I promised you an applesauce recipe last week when I posted my latkes recipe, so this is me delivering on my promise. If you can believe it, I had never made my own applesauce before. I used to always have a jar in my fridge when I lived in Arizona, but for some reason it’s never made it through the door here in New York. I was really excited when the thought to make my own applesauce crossed my mind, mostly because I was anticipating about how wonderful my little apartment would smell with apples, orange zest, cinnamon, and sugar simmering away on my stove for an hour or so. It really transformed my apartment into a cozy sanctuary of sorts, even more so because it is absolutely frigid outside right now. I dread having to leave my building most days. It doesn’t help that I can hear the wind howling outside my window! This is the perfect applesauce to eat on its own or as a side dish. It’s not overwhelmingly cinnamon-y, and the orange juice and zest set is apart ever so slightly from other recipes. One night, we ate this applesauce with latkes and brisket, as I’ve already mentioned. The next night, we ate it with some whipped cream as dessert! It’s really quite versatile, in that sense. I froze the rest of my batch, as it makes about 8-10 cups of applesauce, and I plan to use it to make muffins some time in the near future. I wish that I had some mason jars so I could fill them with this applesauce, tie them with a bow, and give them out as gifts this season! Oh well, maybe next year.
Now, applesauce is all well and good, but what I really want to talk about is Black Swan. Kramer and I were lucky enough to get to see it this weekend, and I know that there is a lot of hype surrounding this movie, but it is all completely justified. Natalie Portman is phenomenal, and I’ll be very surprised if she doesn’t win an Oscar for Best Actress. The whole time I was watching the movie, I wanted to scream at her to do the complete opposite of what she was doing, but that’s the beauty of the movie: it really does illicit a strong emotional reaction from its audience, which is something that is so rare, especially compared to some of the other movies that have come out this year. Mila Kunis does a wonderful job acting beside Natalie Portman, and honestly, the role seems as if it was written specifically for her. Portman is fragile and afraid, while Kunis is carefree and uninhibited, and it seems as if parts of their true personality come across in their characters. Of course, my favorite actor in Black Swan was Vincent Cassel, who I’ve been a fan of for quite some time and was so excited to see him in such a highly anticipated film. He was fantastic; he really makes you cringe as you watch him interact with Portman, but in a good way. It’s really hard to explain. The movie reminded me a lot of Fight Club crossed with The Wrestler, which I think is exactly what Darren Aronofsky was going for, as I know it was supposed to be the “sister” film to The Wrestler, but it was much, much darker. It was also really refreshing to see a film with female characters that had so much depth. In short, I l-o-v-e-d Black Swan and I hope that you all get a chance to see it very soon.
Peel, core, and quarter your apples. I used my apple peeler/corer to do this. It really comes in handy during this time of year!
Add the apples to a large pot and toss in all the other ingredients. Give it a stir as best as you can, then bring to a boil. When boiling, lower the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes-1 hour, until the apples have softened and the applesauce has thickened a bit.
Use a wooden spoon to break up the apples a bit if you need to. Taste and add more sugar or cinnamon if you feel it needs it.
Enjoy hot or cold, as a side or on its own1
- 4-5 pounds (about 7-8 large apples) apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- zest from a quarter of an orange
- juice of half an orange
- In a large pot, combine all of your ingredients. Place over medium-high heat and bring the liquid to a boil (I know that there isn't a lot of liquid in the pot right now, but there will be as the apples reduce).
- Turn the heat down to low, cover, and let simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every so often so that the apples do not burn to the bottom of the pot (although they shouldn't due to the low heat). When the apples are soft and the mixture has thickened a bit, give it a taste, adjust seasonings as needed, and enjoy warm or cold. I like my applesauce on top of some latkes, personally! Makes 8-10 cups. Keeps in the fridge in an airtight container for a week or frozen for up to 6 months.