Oh man, the holidays. I woke up one morning this week so hung over -- but it wasn't an alcohol hangover (no, really!), it was a sugar hangover. Sure, I love to bake (enough that I have a blog called CookiePie, hello!), but in general I'm a very healthy eater. But during the holidays, all bets are off. I don't know if I've just been scarfing down sweets even more than other holidays (possible!), or my tolerance is getting worse the older I get (sad, but could be!), but that morning I felt like I'd been hit by a truckload of Christmas cookies.
So this weekend, when we were invited by some lovely friends to come over for a joint grownup-kiddie play date, I had to forgo making the usual coffee cake, muffins or scones in favor of something with some kind of nutritional value. Honestly, I don't think I could have stared a bag of sugar in the face. So here it is, a truly tasty apple sauce, easy to make and spiced just right for the season, which will make everyone smile without sending anyone into a sugar coma.
Enjoy! And very happy holidays to all!!! xo
Chai-Spiced Apple Sauce
Makes about 2 cups
1 chai tea bag
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 large apples (I used 2 Granny Smith, 1 Golden Delicious and a Gala -- I like to mix it up), peeled, cored, chopped
3 Tbsp. honey (give or take a Tbsp., depending on your taste and how tart your apples are)
Pinch of salt
1. Boil up some water, and place the tea bag in a liquid-measuring cup. Pour in enough water to reach 3/4 cup. Let stand about 5 minutes to steep. Remove tea bag and discard.
2. Melt butter in a large pan over medium-high heat until just beginning to foam. Add apples, honey and salt and saute for about 2 minutes, until apples are beginning to get tender. Pour in tea and stir well. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking time, until apples are very tender and have begun to break down.
3. If you like your sauce chunky, stir and smoosh apples with a wooden spoon until you reach your desired consistency. If you like it smooth, use a potato masher or ricer, or let it cool, then give it a whir in the food processor. Serve warm, or cover and chill. (The sauce is better after it's been chilled overnight.)