This recipe has been a favorite on our Thanksgiving table for many years. It also makes a great accompaniment to blintzes and potato pancakes year round. Its beautiful rosy color and fresh taste belie the simplicity of preparation. Use any apple your family likes for sauce; I recommend Macintosh, Cortland, Gala, or Macoun. Feel free to adjust the ratio of strawberry to apple based on your personal preference. You can also substitute any sweetened fruit puree for the strawberries – try apricots or pureed and strained raspberries.
3 pounds apples
1/4 cup water
10 ounces frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed
1. Peel, core, and slice the apples into thin slices (1/4-1/2 inches).
2. Place the sliced apples into a shallow microwaveable container. Pour the water over the apples. Cover and cook on full power until the apples are cooked through but not mushy. This can take anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave. Check the apples every few minutes, remove those that are cooked with a slotted spoon, and return the remainder to the microwave to finish cooking. (Food Editor’s note: You may also cook the apples in a pot on the stove. Use 3/4 to 1 cup of water and simmer until the apples are cooked, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the apples from the liquid.)
3. While the apples are cooking, place half of the thawed strawberries and syrup into a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse to puree, but do not completely liquefy the strawberries. There should be some chunks remaining.
4. Using a slotted spoon to drain, add half the cooked apples to the strawberries. Pulse machine to evenly mix the fruit. If you like your sauce chunky, pulse briefly; if you like a smoother sauce, keep processing until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Repeat with the second half of strawberries and apples. Mix both batches together. Store sauce in plastic container or jars in the refrigerator. The sauce also freezes very well.
Makes about 6 cups.
Lisa Chodosh is a Manhattan-based restaurant consultant who regularly cooks for crowds. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.