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Holiday Sides

Posted Nov 23 2009 10:01pm
I received a sample of Musselman's applesauce to come up with some recipes utilizing it in side dishes one might have this time of year. I thought and thought... then i went into my kitchen :)

After the success of the Spirited Cranberry Sauce I made last year, I decided to put a spin on this for an appetizer I had in mind. I kept the sherry-soaked dried apricots, but used apple cider and spices when making the sauce. To finish is off, I folded in some applesauce and adjusted the sweetness. While this could easily be used as is, I thought it would make a great topper for some baked brie!

Spirited Cran-Apple-Apricot Sauce
Adapted from Cooking Light

1/2c thin sliced apricots
1/4c sherry
3/4c apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
1t vanilla
3-4T honey (or agave, brown sugar, or your desired sweetener)
1 package cranberries
1/2c Musselman's Natural Applesauce

Place apricots and sherry in a small bowl and let sit overnight.

Combine apricots and sherry, cider, cinnamon stick, vanilla and cranberries in a medium pot. Cook over med-low heat until thickened and desired consistency. Add 3T sweetener and applesauce, mix to incorporate, then taste and adjust to your desired level of sweetness.

Don't worry, yours will look better (I didn't have a full wheel of brie)

Baked Brie w/Spirited Cran-Apple-Apricot Sauce
inspiried by The Kitch'n

1 wheel of brie
1/2-3/4c spirited cran-apple-apricot sauce
chopped walnuts or pecans, if desired

Preheat oven to 350. Cut top rind off of brie. Place in a small baking dish. Top with cranberry sauce (keep a small border). Bake for 12-15min, until heated through and cheese is bubbly. Serve in dish or transfer (carefully) to a serving platter. Serve with crackers.

I also used the applesauce to create an Acorn Apple Soup. Seasoned with a flurry (curry?) of spices, this was a delicious, light soup that would be a good addition to any meal!

Acorn Apple Soup
Serves 2

Depending on what you're in the mood for, this soup can be subtly spiced or more robust. Adjust to you're own tastebuds! The amounts listed below come out somewhere in the middle :)

1 acorn squash, cut in half and seeded
1/2t cinnamon
1/2t curry powder
1/6t cardamom
1/6t coriander
1/2c Musselman's Natural Applesauce
apple cider
1/2 apple, diced small
finely grated gruyere

Preheat oven to 425. Place squash on baking sheet and drizzle with EVOO. Sprinkle spices, then bake until squash is tender (time will depend on the size). Remove from oven.

While squash is roasting, prepare garnishes (if desired). Saute diced apple in a little butter or oil and a blend of the seasonings used to season the squash (I didn't measure, just shook some on). Set aside.

To make gruyere crisps, heat a nonstick pan to med heat. Add gruyere in small disc shapes (~1-2t per circle) and cook until melty. Using a spatula, carefully flip over discs and cook until lightly browned. Depending on how hot your pan is, this can go pretty quickly. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel. I had ~ 1/3c grated gruyere and got 10 crisps.

Once cool, scoop out squash into a blender (I used an immersion blender). Add applesauce and puree. Add enough apple cider until it reaches your desired consistency. Transfer to serving bowls and top with diced apples and gruyere crisps right before serving.

If you're looking for a sweet ending, the applesauce also works well in this Apple Cake, even if it wasn't vegan ;) (I had some buttermilk handy!)

Sorry for the monster post, but I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving!!
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