We know the Dutch are crazy, but they are particularily APPLE CRAZY. My Oma makes applesauce that would make little Dutch angels weep. It's in a whole other league than any beige, flavourless slop that you might buy in a jar at the grocery store. And it's PINK!
Making applesauce is very homey and domesticated so if you are trying to cheer up a friend (or Dutch person) it is suuure to please. Especially with some homemade granola or a crushed oatmeal cookie on top, which is what I did when I made applesauce for my roomate, Bee, right after we'd moved into our apartment and began hanging pictures on the walls (always improves the lived-in factor of a place).
-8 macintosh apples
-Juice of half a lemon
-1 cup water
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 cup brown sugar
Wash the apples really really well in hot water. Quarter the apples, (skin-on, core-in) and place them in a large pot with the water and lemon juice. Cover the pot and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the apples become a mushy, lumpy, saucy mess.
Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour the sauce through the strainer, stirring it to help it pass through without all the peels and little icky bits. Discard the peels and icky bits.
Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar and salt. Let the heavenly sauce cool and then EAT IT!!!!!
*You can core the apples and leave the peels on, skipping the straining step and just mashing the sauce with a potato masher. This makes a nice chunky sauce :)
*Try leaving out the vanilla and adding a tsp of fresh grated ginger. AH-MAZING!
*If my Oma were making applesauce, she might slip in a few tablespoons of grand marnier or brandy ;)