The painter extraordinaire and our dear friend Kate is having a solo show at the Croft Art Gallery in October (for us art-ignorant folk, that means the gallery will be displaying her work and her work only for a whole month with the hopes that people will buy it). On opening night there is a reception and I have been tasked with making cupcakes. I have some ideas for the different kinds I want to make but I am going to test the recipes ahead of time to avoid a day of catastrophe.
The first recipe to try is Applesauce Spice cupcakes. Allison and Mom raved about these cupcakes last fall and I thought it'd be nice to have a seasonal flavor. Now, you may or may not know that sometimes I like to think of myself as a pioneer/pilgrim/Laura Ingalls Wilder type. Yesterday was one of those days. So I decided to make the applesauce from scratch. Apples are super cheap right now and I had the time. I just realized the opening paragraph of this post may have been misleading because its actually going to be all about applesauce. The cupcakes will be a different story for a different day because they are not frosted yet.
Some quick googling told me that a pound of apples will make a cup of sauce. I cored and sliced 2 pounds of apples. Peeling them is optional but since this sauce was destined for cupcakes I wanted a smoother texture.
Throw the apples in a pot and put just enough water to cover the bottom so they don't scorch, about 1/4 cup should do it. Put the lid on and let them cook over medium heat until they are soft and falling apart, about 30 minutes. You really can't overcook the apples so make sure they are good and mushy. You should be able to mash them with a fork or potato masher. Mash the apples in the pot and if there's too much liquid for your liking, take the lid off and keep cooking for about 5 minutes.
Voila! You have homemade applesauce. If you feel so inclined you can add sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, honey...whatever you like to sweeten the sauce. I kept it plain because, once again, going in cupcakes.
As the applesauce simmered I was faced with a dilemma: can I really throw this big pile of apple peel away? Such a waste! I munched on a few pieces while brainstorming, texting Allison for ideas and eventually googling (of course).
Bam. Vinegar. I just put the peel in a jar, covered it with water and topped it with cheesecloth (held in place by a neon hair tie, classy). After sitting in a cool, dark-ish place for 3-4 days this will supposedly be apple vinegar. On a different note, let's pretend you didn't see the dirty window sill.
There was some applesauce leftover after making the cupcakes so this morning I enjoyed it blooped on top of some homemade yogurt with agave nectar (jury is still out on this stuff) and cinnamon. Delish!