While I find homemade applesauce pleasant, especially the batch I created last year, it tends to be a bit mundane for my taste, even when enhanced with cinnamon. It primarily serves as a comforting food during illness for me. Otherwise, its primary use is as a companion to sour cream atop my latkes. It seems I’m not particularly enthusiastic about applesauce on its own.
However, introducing several cups of frozen blackberries, which were wisely preserved earlier in the summer, transforms the ordinary applesauce into an extraordinary, vibrant hot pink creation that is both visually striking and delicious.
Blackberry Applesauce: A Culinary Delight
The addition of blackberries not only bestows a stunning color upon the applesauce but also infuses it with a distinct tartness, enriching the overall flavor profile. The sauce becomes more apple-centric and lively, requiring a slight adjustment in sugar to balance the tartness of the blackberries. This adjustment is dependent on the natural sweetness of the apples used. A taste test is recommended to determine the ideal sugar quantity, allowing for personal preference regarding sweetness or tartness.
For this particular recipe, a blend of Golden Delicious and Rome apples is utilized. The subtle pink hue of the Rome apples is complemented by the rich color of the blackberries, creating a visually appealing sauce. These apples, along with the blackberries, are sourced locally, underscoring the importance and enjoyment of regional produce.
Packaging and Presentation
The applesauce is elegantly presented in jars, adorned with custom-designed labels printed on kraft paper and accented with silver-striped washi tape for a decorative touch. The jars, purchased in bulk, are specifically chosen for their smooth surfaces, facilitating label application. Despite the standard processing time, traditional two-piece lids are preferred to ensure the quality and safety of the applesauce.
Yield: 7 Half-Pint Jars Cook Time: 1 Hour
- 5 pounds of apples (mix of sweet varieties such as Gala, Fuji, Rome, Golden Delicious, or Pink Lady)
- Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 3 tablespoons)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar (adjust according to taste)
- 8 ounces (2 cups) fresh or frozen blackberries
- Start by preparing the canner and sterilizing 8 half-pint mason jars, keeping them warm until use. Also, warm the lids to soften the seals.
- Core and quarter the apples, removing any blemishes, and cook them in a large saucepan with an inch of water until soft. Simultaneously, soften the blackberries in a separate pan.
- Process the cooked apples and blackberries through a food mill to remove skins and seeds, then return the mixture to the saucepan. Add lemon juice and sugar gradually, tasting to adjust for sweetness.
- Fill the jars with the hot sauce, leaving appropriate headspace, and process in a water bath for 15 minutes, adjusting the time for larger jars if necessary.
- Allow the jars to cool on a wire rack undisturbed, check seals, and store appropriately. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
This blackberry applesauce recipe elevates a traditional staple into a delightful, visually appealing, and flavorful treat that showcases the richness of combining simple ingredients with a creative twist.