Shelburne Farms is listed as one of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. In the 1800’s it was a collection of small farms in the Vermont countryside. Those small farms came together 1880 to form a private estate and model farm under the watchful eyes of Dr. William Seward Webb and his wife Lila Osgood Vanderbilt Webb. Over the years Shelburne Farms was again transformed from a private estate to a public, educational foundation. It is a truly wonderful place to visit. In 2001 my favorite architect, Adam Kalkin constructed a Collector’s House out of steel cargo containers on the Sheburne Farms site.
Melissa Pasanen and Rick Gencarelli produced a cookbook of recipes featuring the produce from the farm. Cooking with Shelburne Farms shows off the legacy of the farm's commitment to the vast culinary history of Vermont.
I got tons of apples from the vast culinary environs of West Virginia. They provided a great deal of applesauce. I agree with Pasanen and Gencarelli who feel that making applesauce is a lot easier if you have a food mill. My Great-Aunt Ruth used a chinois to make her applesauce. If you use a mill or chinois you don’t have to bother with peeling the apples. If you don’t have either, peel the apples first and then simply mash them as you would potatoes.Either way, making applesauce is about as easy as (well, actually easier than…) pie.
Oven Roasted Applesauce
5 pounds apples, about 15 medium, cored and cut into 8 wedges each, peeled unless you have a food mill
1/2 cup apple cider or natural apple juice
1/4 –1/2 maple syrup, depending on the tartness of the apples, Grade B for the strongest flavor
4 whole cinnamon sticks
4 whole star anise, divided and tied up in two cheesecloth bundles.
1.Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large, heavy, shallow roasting pan, toss the apples with the cider and maple syrup. Distribute the cinnamon sticks and star anise. Roast until the apples are very soft, about 30 –45 minutes depending on the apple variety.
2.Pull out the cinnamon sticks and star anise. Run the apples through a food mill or, if they were peeled, mash them roughly with a potato masher or puree them in a food processor or blender
I really don’t see the need for wrapping the star anise in cheesecloth. Simply pick it out in the same way you do the cinnamon sticks.