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Smoked Apple Puree

Created by Chef Chris DiMinno, this apple puree will complement his roasted chicken and pork loin (see related recipes at left). Feel free to substitute another type of red apple for the Honeycrisp, such as Pink Lady or Macoun, but don’t use Red Delicious or a green variety. Depending on the size of your smoking surface, you might need to smoke the apples in 2 batches.

If you don’t have a smoker, you can add 1 Tbs. liquid smoke when cooking the apples. Alternatively, for a more savory result, stir in 2 Tbs. rendered bacon fat when pureeing the apples. The flavor will be different but still delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lb. Honeycrisp apples (about 10 apples), peeled, cored and quartered
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Directions:

Set up a stovetop smoker with applewood chips according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, preheat a gas grill and place applewood chips in a smoker box. Place the quartered apples in the smoker or on the grill and smoke for 1 hour.

Remove the apples from the smoker and thinly slice them. Place in a large saucepan or a small stockpot and add the butter, wine, water, sugar and salt. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and set over medium heat. Cook the apples, stirring every few minutes, until they are very soft and falling apart, about 20 minutes. Stir in the white pepper and nutmeg.

For a smoother texture, transfer the apple mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. For a coarser texture, puree in a food processor until the desired consistency is reached. Makes about 6 cups.

Recipe Courtesy of Chris DiMinno, Head Chef, Clyde Common, Portland, OR.