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Cardamom Applesauce Recipe
Also spelled cardamon, cardamom is an aromatic spice with a unique flavor that's both spicy and sweet. In apple dishes like applesauce, cardamom may be used in lieu of cinnamon.
For the strongest, freshest cardamom taste, buy cardamom that's still in pods, and then remove the seeds and grind them. (Ten cardamom pods equals about 1 ½ tsp. ground cardamom.)
For cardamom flavor that's almost as fresh, purchase cardamom seeds and grind them, or buy them already ground.
Other Uses for Cardamom
Add cardamom to chicken, duck & meat dishes. (Try it in Cincinnati chili in place of cinnamon.)
Use cardamom in dishes that contain citrus, squash & peas. (Add it to curries, or use it in place of curry to season rice.)
Sprinkle cardamom over coffee drinks. Like cinnamon, it tastes & smells delicious in hot beverages.
Although cardamom is slightly more expensive than many other spices, it only takes a little to give dishes that distinctive sweet and spicy cardamom flavor.
The hearty cardamom applesauce recipe below requires only ½ tsp. of cardamom per 4 c. of apple—and it's easy to vary. (Recipe variations and apple variety recommendations follow the recipe.)
RECIPE FOR CARDAMOM APPLESAUCE
- 4 or more cups apples, cored and chopped
- 1 medium lemon, per 4 cups apple
- 1/2 C. brown or white sugar, per 4 cups apple
- 1 tsp. vanilla, per 4 cups apple
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, per 4 cups apple
- Wash and core the apples. Peel them if desired, and then chop them coarsely.
- Cook the chopped apple in a large stockpot over medium-low heat with the lid on for about 30 minutes, stirring and mashing the pieces with a potato masher occasionally. The apples will release water as they cook. If they become dry, add 1/2 c. water per 4 c. chopped apple, reduce the heat and continue cooking with the lid on.
- When the apples have cooked down, pass them through a food mill before stirring in the sugar and cardamom. If you prefer applesauce that's a little chunky, skip the food mill step.
- After adding the sugar and cardamom, continue cooking the applesauce with the lid on for about 30 minutes more or until it thickens so that the sauce hangs onto the spoon.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Varying the Recipe
Sugar & Spice
You may use brown sugar, white sugar or a mixture of both in this recipe for Cardamom Applesauce. No matter which you choose, the amount is the same: ½ cup or more (depending upon your taste preference) per 4 cups of chopped apple.
If cardamom seems strong to you, add it in increments of a ¼ tsp. per 4 cups chopped apple until you get the taste that you like best. You may also substitute cinnamon for cardamom if you prefer.
If freezing the applesauce, add the spice later upon reheating. Both cardamom and cinnamon can become bitter when frozen.
Good Apples for Applesauce
Some apple varieties are known as "cooking" apples. High in malic acid, they break down into a puree easily when heated.
Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Baldwin, Northern Spy, Newtown Pippin, Rhode Island Greening, Rome Beauty and York Imperial are all good choices for applesauce.