Toffee applesauce on applesauce scones
After making the caramelly banana filling for my banoffee pie, I had a brainwave as I pureed my latest batch of applesauce*. Basically, you melt some sugar, whisk in butter like crazy, and while the whole thing is still molten, whisk in applesauce. Let cool and you have toffee applesauce. Or caramel applesauce.
Once it is refrigerated, it sets to the consistency of thick honey. You could up the ratio of applesauce to make it tarter, I just felt like being luxurious. You could also use other fruit purees, or hell, even slightly-chunky stewed plums or peaches…anything that would appreciate being toffee-kissed (ok, more like toffee pashed, the toffee does take over a fair bit with my ratios, but you can change that accordingly).
While I had all this applesauce I figured I’d try Julie Le Clerc’s Hot Apricot Scones from Made By Hand, but with applesauce thinned with a little water instead of pureed canned apricots. They turned out quite well considering they had no butter in (just a few Tablespoons of oil), and the toffee applesauce definitely proved a great match. They were beautifully soft and a little springier than most scones – not everyone’s ideal, granted, but certainly a wonderful pairing with the rich toffee applesauce. Will (who’s finally back!) and I enjoyed these for ahem…breakfast in the afternoon. Yes, I know it’s Valentines day and the scones aren’t heart shaped or bright pink, but that’s how I roll.
You can use the toffee applesauce in and on many other things too of course – patted onto toast, shimmied onto any bad muffins (hey, we’re all guilty, it’s okay), mixed into porridge, spooned into little tartlets with some mascarpone or fresh apple slices lathered in lemon juice. Hit me with your suggestions – I’m going to be making plenty more, and I love the suggestions I get :)
On a side (energy-saving) note, we got given some slightly under-ripe plums, and, feeling bad about using the oven to make 6 scones, I popped in a covered casserole dish full of the plums, some raw sugar and half a split vanilla bean alongside the baking tray. After the scones were done I uncovered the plums and left them in the still-hot but cooling oven, which made the house smell heavenly. A few hours later we had some amaaaazing plum goop. It was still pretty tart though so I mixed some honey through once warm and that worked a treat.
makes approximately one cup – to make more, the ratio is 3:4:6 butter, applesauce, sugar
- 150g (2/3c) white sugar – do not use raw
- 75g butter, cubed (doesn’t matter if it’s salted or not really, but using unsalted and adding maldon sea salt flakes after would be yuuuummmy)
- 100g unsweetened applesauce
On a medium heat, in a pale coloured, thick bottomed saucepan or high-sided frying pan, sprinkle sugar in a thin even layer (see Irina’s chocolate caramel mousse post for photos of the process – this is where I learnt how to make toffee/caramel). Start with a medium heat. Once it starts to melt a little, sprinkle more sugar over, until things start going amber coloured. Whisk as you add layers of sugar until the sugar is all melted and golden, making sure the sugar doesn’t go black in any bits – take off the heat if this happens.
Whisk in the butter a few cubes at a time still on medium heat. It will look like it won’t incorporate at first but keep whisking and adding butter until the butter is used up and the molten toffee is nice and uniform. Whisk in the applesauce until incorporated, then let cool. You may want to whisk it a little more when it’s warm just to give it one last encouragement to play nicely together and not separate. Pour into a jar while still warm, and refrigerate. Not sure how long it will last in the fridge, but given how tasty it is I’m not sure we’ll ever know…
* Ok google, where did all the (actually) simple and easy applesauce recipes go? I just core and chop apples into bite sized pieces (don’t need to peel them), dump into a saucepan with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and a splash of water, cover and let it cook on medium low heat until everything is soft enough to mush. Occasionally I’ll mix them around a bit. Then puree. However you can also buy applesauce (I’m not sure where but my friend Sarah knows where the good stuff is at).
EDIT: You can also make applesauce in a casserole dish in the oven while something else is baking (add about 2 Tbs water per cup of chopped apple), and it cooks more evenly this way. Temp doesn’t matter too much, just check on the apples every 20 mins or so until they’re soft and mushy. Puree while still a little hot for super smooth and silky applesauce!
Discovered a new up-and-coming food site called The List today, which promotes some of the best independent food producers and retailers in New Zealand. It’s nationwide and features some pretty interesting articles too. Worth a look!