It is now becoming a habit that my husband is in charge of the cooking on Sundays. As much as I like to cook, there is nothing quite as blissful as sitting in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine in hand, enjoying the smells coming from the kitchen and counting my blessings.
He is a fantastic cook, especially when it comes to no-frills comfort food. Nobody can make a Dutch meatball as well as him, and his succulent rosemary/lemon chicken is the stuff dreams are made of. A few weeks ago, however, the boy surprised me.
As we were doing our food shopping, I left him for a moment to go find something, and when I found him again, he held out a jar in front of me and said, “Look, applesauce!” I didn’t exactly know what to think or how to react. The last time I bought applesauce was when my daughter was a toddler. I used to mix little spoons of the stuff with dinners she didn’t particularly like. Shoot me now.
Faced with that jar of pale yellow mush, I gave hubs a slightly concerned look. All I could say was, “OK, sure. ”
We ate it as dessert, and it was exactly what I expected: baby food. In his defense, dinner was pulled pork with perfectly sautéed potatoes.
Last Sunday, I decided to make a really good applesauce. I am quite sure that if it wasn’t for that interesting experience, I probably would have never thought of making it myself. This is definitely an adult version, with brown rum and some juicy figs thrown in for good measure. And it is made with roasted fruit which intensifies the flavors immensely; not boiled fruit which becomes slop.
Give it a go now and chances are you’ll want it at your holiday table soon enough. My daughter said it “tasted like Christmas”. But it could just as easily taste like Thanksgiving if you want it to…
Roasted Apple & Fig Sauce
- 500g (4 small) Elstar apples, or other soft variety suitable for sauce
- 250g (3) ripe figs
- 4 small sticks of cinnamon (or two large ones, broken)
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 tbsps brown rum
- 2 tsps butter, plus a little more for greasing the oven dish
Preheat oven to 200C and butter a small oven dish generously. Peel the apples, core, cut them into sections and put them in the dish. Cut the figs into small sections and put in the dish as well. Divide the cinnamon sticks, brown sugar and brown rum over the dish and dot with the butter. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and mash with a fork. Allow to cool and serve as is or as a side to pork or game.