I’ve made this recipe a number of times. It really is applesauce, and growing up in the midwest, that was certainly something I made as a kid as well. It’s simple and homey – but also a great alternative in the fall & winter to my normal berries over yogurt with home made granola for breakfast. Plus it’s a handy way to use up apples, or an innocent substitute (if you add some cinnamon) for apple pie.
I don’t know how it’s particularly French, other than Dorie occasionally talks about having a simple sweet or fruit for dessert. But in any event, that’s what I made this particular version for. At it’s simplest, it’s apples with a bit of sugar, and maybe some vanilla.
I don’t have a food mill (handy anyway), so I just go with the peeling and coring of the apples. I do have an apple peeler/corer, but I usually don’t bother with taking it out unless I’m making chutney or apple butter.
The apples get cooked over time. In my case, I probably ended somewhere between Dorie’s first version and second. Since I was serving mine for dessert, and not using it for a filling, I didn’t want to cook the apples down too much. I can certainly see that the extra time would be good, but not for me this time.
I did flavor mine with just vanilla in this version. As noted, I’ve also spiced with Vietnamese cinnamon. I even want to add cardamom and orange zest along with the vanilla to take on the character of an apple butter I sometimes make – I think it would be great with yogurt. This evening, however, I stuck with a simple ending to our meal, and topped the apples with a dollop of marscapone. Delish.
I will certainly make this again (maybe today!). I do however understand how some others may wonder at this recipe – my only guess is that we’re supposed to be learning that French home cooking can go from something as simple as this to any of the multi-step/multi-day recipes we’ve tried. You can see how others handled these apples here.