I've started eating a lot of applesauce lately. It is delicious, healthy, and convenient. Well, the unsweetened kind is healthy. Last Halloween, I made my first batch of homemade applesauce to use in an applesauce cake to take to a party. And I just didn't realize how easy it was to make applesauce! I mean... you plop some apples, water, and whatever flavoring you want to use in a pot, cook for half an hour, then puree. And voila... applesauce!
So a couple days ago, I found myself browsing smitten kitchen and stumbled across a recipe for peach sauce. I have a TON of peaches in the freezer from the CSA this summer. And these peaches are so sweet they don't need any sugar. Perfect for making a healthy fruit puree!
I wanted to do something a little more interesting than just peaches, and I found some frozen blueberries from my grandmother's garden in the freezer. I love the combination of peaches and blueberries, so I figured why not throw them into the sauce as well! To make the flavor reminiscent of pie, I added cinnamon and nutmeg to the sauce, then I squeezed in some fresh lemon juice after I pureed the fruit just to brighten up the flavors. And the end result was TO DIE FOR DELICIOUS. For dessert tonight, I stirred a couple tablespoons of this puree into a bowl of homemade greek yogurt... its tastes like peach and blueberry pie with ice cream, but fat free with no added sugar! At least thats what I'm telling myself :)
Now, if you wanted to adapt this recipe, you could use any fruit and any flavoring you want. Apples with lemon zest and cinnamon. Peaches with nutmeg. Pears with cinnamon and cloves. Pears with vanilla. Mango with a touch of curry. Mango and banana with lime. Use your imagination! This is also a fabulous use for frozen fruit. It lets you get fruit out of season, but without dealing with the yucky texture of frozen-then-thawed fruit.
Peach and Blueberry Sauce
adapted from smittenkitchen
makes 3 cups sauce
16 oz bag frozen peaches, or 16 oz fresh peaches, diced
1 c (4 oz) frozen or fresh blueberries
1/2 c orange juice
1/2 c water
a dash each of cinnamon and nutmeg
juice of 1/2 lemon
Combine fruit, orange juice, water, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then puree fruit with blender, food processor, stick blender, or food mill. Add lemon juice, and stir to combine.
Using a food mill here will give you a more traditional applesauce texture. The other appliances can have a more uneven puree, so I just use my stick blender. But I don't own a food mill, and I dont mind a few chunks in my fruit sauce. But if you want a smooth, even texture, I would highly recommend a food mill. They cost as little as $30 and can be used for just about anything... mashed potatoes, fruit sauce, pasta sauce, pureed soups, etc.