when staying with my friend in paris last fall, she had a bowl full of VERY ripe apples. they had been sitting around for at least 2 weeks while i was there - a few being eaten here and there. after she went to southern france for a weekend and came home with more apples from her mother-in-law, we decided we had to use them. and thus is my story of attempting to make homemade apple compote (apple sauce).
our journey begins with the most basic step. peeling and cutting of the apples.
the picture above looks very nice, mostly because we took out the apples that i turned red after bleeding on them. my friend, living in france, does not have an apple peeler, so she peels all of her apples with a little rounded knife. i am not so adept at this method. in any case, for every one quarter of an apple i peeled, she peeled 2 whole apples. we got through the bowl pretty quickly.
next, we put brown sugar, a fresh vanilla pod, cinammon, lemon juice, and a bit of water into a pot placed on low heat. we stirred the mixture until it was kind of carmelized. i would guess less than half a cup of brown sugar, but it's really dependant upon your own tastes - if you like it sweeter, use more. stir over the heat until the sugar is kind of dissolved.
then the fun part - add the apples! at first, it doesn't look like much. just apples in a pot. continue stirring every few minutes and eventually the apples will soak up the sugar.
you may need to add water as you go. you want to make sure there is always enough liquid over the apples. it should take about 1/2 hour on slow heat for the apples to naturally break down into apple sauce. you could eat it when it looks like this, or continue with the heat and use the wooden spoon to mush (mash?) the apples more. it eventually becomes tbe yummiest applesauce ever! my friend made it look really easy to make; i have yet to recreate it, but once i do, i will let you know how it goes.
i asked my friend, what are the best kind of apples to use? apples good for "eating" work best for her. if using granny smith or "cooking" apples, you might need to add sugar at the end before eating to sweeten it a bit. this is served deliciously warm or after putting in the fridge you can eat it cold. it should keep for a few weeks in the fride. mmmmm.... that's mad tasty.