Last week I went apple picking at Weeds Orchards in Marlboro.  It’s something I enjoy and do every year.  Usually my cousin comes and joins me but this year due to our busy schedules it was just me and Melanie.  Actually me, Melanie was there in body, texting, I was the one picking and pulling the wagon of apples.

What do you do with a large bag of apples – make applesauce.  This year I deviated from my normal recipe and used wine instead of water.  I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner, since I cook with wine all the time.  Duh..It took some recipe swapping with Kitty Oliver at Heron Hill Winery in the Finger Lakes for the bell to go off in my head and use wine in my canning recipes.  Thanks Kitty!

What wine to use in my applesauce is just as difficult to choose what wine I will drink tonight.  Hudson Valley apple needs to go with a Hudson Valley wine. But what wine to use?  Seyval, Riesling, Chardonnay, Traminette?  I chose Hudson-Chatham’s 2009 Empire White.  This wine is a blend of 1/3 Seyval Blanc from the Hudson Valley, 1/3 Riesling from the Finger Lakes and 1/3 Sauvignon Blanc from Long Island.  I got my basis covered. A little wine for the applesauce, a little wine for me.  The result – 7 simply wonderful and healthy jars of Empire meets Empire applesauce.

The recipe:
25 apples – I used Empire apples
1 1/2 cups white wine such as Riesling, Traminette or Seyval
3/8 teaspoon each of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon
2 cups of sugar – more or less depending on your sweetness level desired.
Juice of 4 lemons

Peel, core and slice apples.  As you do this toss with lemon juice to prevent browning.  Transfer apples with juice ot a large pot.  Add wine.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cover and simmer mixing often for about 10 minutes, until all soft.

I put them in a blender and pulse until it smooth but lumpy. Stir in the sugar and spices and put back on the stove and cook 5 more minutes.

Ladle the hot applesauce into sterilized jars of your size choice and process for 20 minutes.