Oven-Roasted Apple Sauce

Here’s a recipe for a holiday apple sauce. Roasting the apples is a good way to concentrate flavor and also makes it easy to cook larger quantities. Freeze sauce in batches to use for everything from dessert to a scrumptious accompaniment to roast pork.

Oven-Roasted Apple Sauce
5 lbs. apples
½  (half) cup apple cider
¼  (quarter) cup maple syrup
4 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise

Preheat oven to 375F. Leave apples unpeeled. Cut each one into 8 pieces and discard seeds. Toss apple pieces in a large shallow roasting pan with maple syrup and cider. Divide cinnamon and star anise between two pieces of cheesecloth and tie up to make two spice bundles. Put a spice bundle at either end of the roasting pan, nestling them among the apples. Roast for half an hour or until apples are soft, stirring midway through and adding a splash more cider if pan gets dry. Remove spice bundles. Puree apples by passing them through a food mill (which conveniently removes skins.) If you don’t have a food mill, you could push the apples through a coarse-meshed sieve with the back of a spoon. Note: you could peel also the apples before roasting and mash them after cooking, or puree them in a processor.

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