This applesauce recipe is a tiny bit more involved than a recipe for a traditional applesauce, but the extra step of sauteing the apples is worth it. Use tart local apples; avoid apples that have a mealy texture and that are overly sweet. The best thing to do is to go to your farmers’ market or local produce stand and taste as many apples as you can, choosing the one that is most appealing (no pun intended).
2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 lbs apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thick slices
1/2 cup honey, preferably sage honey
1/2 cup white wine
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
fresh sage sprigs for garnish (optional)
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples, turn the heat to high, and saute until they begin to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes. If some are getting too well done, remove them and place on a plate while the rest continue to cook, then return them to the skillet when all are done.
2. Reduce the heat to low and add the honey, wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and allow to cook until the apples are tender but still firm; you don’t want them to turn into applesauce!
3. Serve this is a bowl, tuck in a couple sprigs of fresh sage from your garden, and tell your guests all about sage honey.
Find more honey recipes in the book at Johnson’s:
Masterton, Laurey. (2013). The Fresh Honey Cookbook. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.
Photo by Johnny Autry.