Pork was one of the main meats eaten in our house while I grew up. We ate it with mustard and occasionally tomato ketchup, but never with apple sauce. Tart apples, stewed until they collapsed into a fragrant, tasty semi-puree were reserved for dessert. Or, at the very least, served alongside thick, crisp potato cakes.
It was only when I came to live in England that I was introduced to a taste the English have cultivated for centuries. Roast pork, all tender meat with its shell of crisp salty crackling, scales new heights when served with apple sauce.
And that's not the end of that sauce's versatility. It's equally delectable in hot cheese sandwiches or with cold, boiled bacon. And with a bit of chilli added it has - on occasion - doubled up as a chutney substitute.
Don't restrict yourself to just apples when making this sauce. Yes, it's great on it's own. But I love to experiment with even the most traditional of recipes and my favourite apple sauce recipe has three main ingredients: apples, onions and ginger. And the end result is something that's perfect for roast pork, and even better with sausages, sizzling hot from the pan.
This sauce is not something I ever make in carefully
measured quantities. When I run out I make a new batch, using just what
I have in the house. This makes (roughly) four jars of sauce:
To my mind and taste buds, there are a couple of rules here.
This could not be easier! Peel and chop the onions and soften in the butter before adding the cored, peeled and chopped apples and the grated ginger.
Turn them over in the butter for a couple of minutes, then add the sugar, salt, chilli (if using) and the cider / vinegar.
Clap on the lid
and cook on a low heat until the apples have collapsed. You should stir
every now and then to make sure your sauce does not stick to the bottom
of the pan.
When soft, use a hand blender or electric whisk to turn the mixture into a smooth sauce. Fill into clean, sterilised jars and cover with waxed paper before putting on a lid.
Apple sauce keeps reasonably well - i.e. 2-3 months - but I'm quite sure it won't be around that long.