At a recent holiday dinner, I was looking for a good side to serve with my smoked ham. We had previously done Emeril’s Port Wine Cranberry Sauce, Pioneer Woman’s Whiskey Glazed Carrots, and the Neely’s Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes with it, but because we had recently done those at other holiday parties, I wanted something different. Since apple sauce is a classic side for pork or ham, I decided to see if I could find a fresh cooked apple recipe, and while I didn’t find any one recipe I liked entirely, I found a decent looking recipe from Tyler Florence that was a good base, and along with some others I found and a few adjustments (like trading dried cranberries for his raisins, dropping the mustard, etc.), created a recipe that sounded like it would work for me and be nice and tasty.
I have since done it multiple times, with ham, pork chops, and most recently, on my annual camp-out with my buddies (the infamous “Hoot in the Hills’) as an accompaniment to a friend’s crown roast on the BBQ. It may have even out-shined the roast itself, as several of my camping friends (including the crown roast cook himself) not only raved about the apples, but stood around the empty skillet afterwards dipping their fingers into the leftover sauce, to complement their Scotch!
At any rate, it is an awesome fruity side for dishes that pair well with that sort of thing, and while I haven’t yet tried it on ice cream for dessert, or on waffles or pancakes at breakfast, I’m quite confident it would be great in that role as well.
- 3 Granny Smith apples, cored, sliced, and peeled
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 Whole sprigs of thyme
- ½ Cup dried cranberries (or raisins, if you prefer)
- ¾ Cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- ½ Tsp cinnamon
- ¼ Tsp ground cloves
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
- Add apples and thyme, stirring and coating in butter until color changes (6-10 minutes).
- Add cranberries (or raisins), apple juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon juice.
- Simmer about 10 minutes, until apples are tender but still hold shape.