This recipe presents an Apple Sauce, one of the two sauces I’ve chosen to pair with a Slow-Roasted Crispy Pork Belly, which I also shared today.
What distinguishes this sauce from the typical, basic Apple Sauce recipes? It all starts with the caramelization process, rather than simply incorporating sugar into the sauce. The outcome is a notably deeper and more indulgent flavor, requiring only a minimal extra effort! This serves as a bonus recipe (alongside Vermouth Jus, another bonus recipe!) designed to complement the Crispy Slow Roasted Pork Belly, the primary recipe of the day. The sauce is refreshingly uncomplicated, so I’ll keep it concise and sweet!
Pork and apple have long been recognized as a classic culinary duo. Apple Sauce is the most commonly celebrated representation of this pairing, and its sweet-tart flavors naturally make it an ideal companion for the pork belly recipe that I also shared today.
While many Apple Sauce recipes follow a straightforward method of cooking apples with sugar, and sometimes butter, then blending until smooth, adding an extra step of caramelizing the sugar elevates this Apple Sauce to another level entirely. The subtle notes of caramel introduce a richer, deeper, and almost savory dimension to the sauce, prompting people to pause and ponder, “What is that delightful flavor I’m detecting?” This simple additional effort truly sets your sauce apart, and it’s as uncomplicated as placing sugar in a saucepan and allowing it to transform into caramel!
Although I’ve used this sauce to enhance the flavors of Pork Belly, there’s a world of diverse and delightful possibilities for enjoying Apple Sauce. Don’t limit your creativity to savory dishes alone. You can drizzle this delectable concoction over anything from pancakes to French toast, spoon it onto Apple Cake, scones, or even use it as a dip for muffins and a spread for toast!
What goes in Apple Sauce
This Apple Sauce requires just five simple ingredients! For the apples, my preference leans towards Gala apples. They possess a gentle, sweet flavor that, in my opinion, pairs beautifully with Apple Sauce. However, you have the flexibility to choose any apple variety you prefer. It’s important to note that the apple variety you select will significantly influence the sauce’s overall flavor. If you fancy a hint of tartness, opt for Granny Smith apples! If you’re inclined towards extra sweetness, consider using Red Delicious or Pink Lady apples!
How to make Apple Sauce
The crucial step that sets this Apple Sauce apart from most other recipes is the process of melting sugar to create a delightful caramel, forming the foundation of this sauce.
Here’s how to make it:
- Begin by peeling, coring, and slicing the apples. I find that cutting the apples into quarters and then slicing them fairly thinly works well. This size ensures they are easy to stir and cook relatively quickly.
- Place the sugar in a saucepan over low heat.
- Allow the sugar to gradually melt into caramel. Shake the pan occasionally as it melts. Avoid stirring, as stirring may lead to sugar crystallization. Once you notice it melting around the edges, gently swirl the pot to ensure even melting (preventing the edges from burning).
- Next, add the vinegar and the sliced apples. Stir and cook the apples for approximately 10 minutes until they become very soft.
- Add the butter, and then use a stick blender to puree the apples completely. If you encounter splattering issues, tilt the pan so that the head of the stick blender is fully submerged.
- And there you have it! You’ve successfully created Apple Sauce, ready for an array of culinary possibilities!
What to do with Apple Sauce
I’m sharing this recipe with a specific purpose: to serve as a sauce alongside the Crispy Slow Roasted Pork Belly, which I also introduced today. However, I found that Apple Sauce alone left me yearning for a meaty, savory accompaniment on the plate. So, as a complementary addition, I’ve included the recipe for Vermouth Jus, presented separately.
The combination of Pork Belly, Vermouth Jus, and this Apple Sauce is truly enchanting. It exudes an air of “fine dining” both in its presentation and its taste! While it may require a bit of effort to put together, I assure you that the results are absolutely worth it. Beyond being an ideal pairing for roast pork belly, this Apple Sauce offers a multitude of sweet and savory possibilities, making it a valuable addition to your culinary repertoire. Here are some creative ideas:
- As a sauce for nearly any pork dish, naturally! It’s also a traditional accompaniment for festive duck and game bird dishes.
- Perfect alongside smoky, crispy bacon! Serve a dollop as a condiment alongside a hearty breakfast.
- For the more adventurous eaters (unlike myself!), Apple Sauce is a classic companion to black pudding or boudin noir.
- Spread it on toast, scones, or muffins!
- Spoon it onto pancakes, pikelets, or even buttered crumpets.
- Enhance the flavor of your favorite cake – try it with this Apple Cake or another delightful option!
- Use it as a delectable topping for ice cream or rice pudding.
- Mix it into your morning granola for a sweet twist.
- Elevate your cheese board by serving it as a chutney alongside strong, salty cheeses like blue vein, cheddar, or washed rind varieties, among others.