Gather those granny smiths and prepare to follow the Food Network star's lead.

Karla Walsh
November 09, 2020
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Hallelujah, apple harvest has arrived! Sure, you can find golden delicious and gala apples at most supermarkets year round, but now is prime time for affordably priced, amazingly flavorful local apples.

And our 2020 culinary icon Ina Garten just revealed the perfect use for your honeycrisp haul on an episode of Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro that premiered this weekend.

Early this year, Ina crafted a mouthwatering sweet-tart applesauce and shared the results on Instagram:

For her show, the Food Network star and author of Modern Comfort Food ($21, amazon.com) upped the ante by giving us step-by-step tips for the best homemade applesauce...with a few upgrades. Here's what we learned from her next-level recipe for Raspberry Roasted Applesauce that's earned reviews like, "Not too sweet and really lovely dessert!" and "OMG, Ina just has a way with making ordinary ingredients amazing...Sooo good!"

Ina Garten's Top 5 Homemade Applesauce Tips

Use a lot of citrus.

Ina recommends a mix of lemon and orange—and a lot of 'em. For her 8-serving recipe that uses 6 pounds of apples, she calls for the zest and juice of two oranges and two lemons, plus more orange zest for garnish. This acidity really brightens up the flavors and accents the sweetness of the fruit and brown sugar.

Mix two types of apples.

For the most complex and tasty flavor, try half sweet apples and half tart apples, such as Macoun, granny smith, galas or Cortland.

Roast the apples with raspberries.

For some extra natural sweetness and vibrant color, peel the apples then simmer them down with fresh or frozen raspberries (plus a few other flavor boosters like cinnamon and brown sugar).

Add a bit of butter for richness.

Speaking of add-ins, Ina adds 4 tablespoons of butter to the mix before allowing it to roast for 60 to 75 minutes. While this might sound like a lot, it works out to ½ tablespoon per serving (about 50 calories and 5.5 grams of fat).

Don't stir while cooking and just whisk to finish.

In a large Dutch oven or large oven-safe pot, roast the ingredients and basically ignore them for about an hour. When the apples are very soft, whisk vigorously to a slightly chunky, yet smoother texture.

As far as how to enjoy this applesauce, besides straight from the pot, Ina has a pairing that sounds quite possibly more perfect than pork chops: Top each bowl of warm roasted applesauce with a scoop of ice cream. (Thanks, Ina, now we're drooling!)