Come fall, we’re all about apples — applesauce, apple butter, baked apples and more. Now we have a new recipe to add to the autumn repertoire: Smoked Apple Puree, a sweet-savory condiment created by Chef Chris DiMinno.
Serve the puree with roasted meat or poultry for something out of the ordinary, or use it however you would applesauce for a creative twist on the classic (scroll down for ideas). Alternatively, try canning it — you’ll be thrilled to have it when apples pass their peak.
Smoked Apple Puree
If you don’t have a smoker, you can add 1 Tbs. liquid smoke when cooking the apples. Or, for a more savory result, stir in 2 Tbs. rendered bacon fat when pureeing the apples.
4 lb. Honeycrisp apples (about 10 apples), peeled, cored and quartered
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Set up a stovetop smoker with applewood chips according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, preheat a gas grill and place applewood chips in a smoker box. Place the quartered apples in the smoker or on the grill and smoke for 1 hour.
Remove the apples from the smoker and thinly slice them. Place in a large saucepan or a small stockpot and add the butter, wine, water, sugar and salt. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and set over medium heat. Cook the apples, stirring every few minutes, until they are very soft and falling apart, about 20 minutes. Stir in the white pepper and nutmeg.
For a smoother texture, transfer the apple mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. For a coarser texture, puree in a food processor until the desired consistency is reached. Makes about 6 cups.
Put your smoked apple puree to good use in these recipes, also from Chef DiMinno:
|Roasted Chicken with Spaetzle, Brussels Sprouts and Smoked Apple Puree
As an accompaniment to his roast chicken, Chef DiMinno tosses brussels sprouts with the tiny German noodles known as spaetzle, then folds in smoked apple puree. It’s the perfect meal for an autumn evening.
|Roasted Pork Loin with Braised Red Cabbage and Smoked Apple Puree
Pork, cabbage and apples are a classic autumn trio, and here, Chef DiMinno raises the bar. He blends grated apples into braised red cabbage, which gets a savory boost from bits of crispy bacon. Smoked apple puree adds the finishing touch.