Caramelized Apple Barbeque Sauce.
I know it sounds crazy! Because it kind of is, in theory. Think about it, apple cider vinegar is in a lot of different barbecue sauces, so why not the whole apple? It’s about time the apple becomes be the star of the show, right!? I hate recipes that hide main ingredients under 30 thousand condiments. I am not saying that these taste bad or aren’t any good. I am saying that sometimes, less is more.
As I mentioned in my flog about apple butter, I have a lot of apples. Actually the apple butter was brewing, that’s when the idea of a true apple barbeque sauce started. At least what I believe it should taste like. I got to thinking about the different scents of fall. I love how a caramelized apples send warmth through the house. I love that holiday, fall scent, you know? That small bag of potpourri that sat somewhere in your grandma’s house. The one that you couldn’t stop playing with it,because it smelled so inviting. Which is what I was shooting for. I wanted to remind myself of those holidays growing up.
I wanted to take those moments and try to bottle it. I believe in some way, shape, or form we are all looking for that simple time of life. That time where the only worry was school or how to make your curfew later. For me, I have always valued the fall, and winter. I love a brisk day, wearing hoodies, and wandering around outside. I don’t have a lot of memories centered around food. Growing up I lived outdoors, or hidden in a basement, even during holidays. I was able to create moments with my friends and family. Now those memories get triggered thanks to different foods.
This sauce reminds me of walking through fallen leaves up to my grandparents house on Thanksgivings. I was always excited to spend the day with my them, and my brother. We would build things in the garage, and terrorize the aunts in the house. All those are special memories which started to teach me about family, hardships, and life. That is what this sauce does for me at least……
I started by caramelizing apples in a medium sauce pan to get the sauces base going. To caramelize apples you start by melting two teaspoons of butter. By adding apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and finishing it off with a pinch of coarse sea salt. All done over low to medium heat, stirring to avoid burning.
Once the apples are caramelized, they need to keep cooking. This allows them to slowly break down to where they were falling apart. Now this is where it starts to drift off The Applesauce Express.
I starting adding ketchup, brown sugar, and white vinegar. These are in most barbeque sauces. To that I added apple cider, it is that time of year after all. I was trying to take some of the sweetness out of it. Since this sauce is gonna be more of a barbeque sauce, and not apple sauce, I kept adding more barbeque flavors. Flavors like, onion, garlic, and ancho chili powder just to name a few. To make sure the sauce says Fall, I add: cloves, cinnamon, and allspice because it only seemed right. Its finished it off by adding honey and chipotle powder. Yes, I put chipotle powder in it. This helps to finish transformation into a barbeque sauce.
This sauce brings the holidays home year round. I have had this with chicken and pork. This sauce is perfect on pork, since pork and apples are a natural pair. The sauce is sweet, but isn’t applesauce, and has a depth within the flavors to excite your taste buds. You know what? Surprise your family this year smoke a ham and glaze it with this, or serve on the side, you won’t regret it.
3 Medium to large apples diced
3 tbsp Brown Sugar
2 tsp melted Butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Pinch of coarse Sea Salt
1 cup Ketchup
¾ cup Apple cider
⅓ cup White Vinegar
⅓ cup Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Chipotle Powder
1 tsp Ancho Chili Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Chopped sage
½ tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Onion Powder
¼ tsp Allspice
¼ tsp Ground Cloves
In a medium saucepan start by melting 2 tsp of butter.
Add cinnamon, and brown sugar.
Add diced apples, and stir to coat.
Let the apples cook on medium to low for about 10 minutes.
At this point the apples are caramelized,but they need to continue to soften.
Once you can break apples apart with a spoon it’s time.
Start by adding all the liquid ingredients but the honey.
Add all the remaining ingredients, honey last.
I used a stick blender to smooth out the apple clumps, a regular blender would do fine too.
Bring to boil, then reduce to a low simmer. It might have boiling pops if heat is too high.
Stir it to avoid burning while it reduces. About 20 mins or so. You should get three to four cups out of it.
I recommend cooling sauce before using. This will make it thicker and help the flavors blend.