Cook the Book: Applesauce with Bourbon, Sour Cherries, and Hazelnuts

Cook the Book: Applesauce with Bourbon, Sour Cherries, and Hazelnuts

If you read the previous post, you'll know that this week's Cook the Book entry, How to Pick a Peach, by Russ Parsons, is all about where the foods in the produce aisle come from, when they're at their best, and how to pick the best example of whatever it is you're in the market for. Applesauce with Bourbon, Sour Cherries, and Hazelnuts, One of the recipes that go along with the chapter on apples follows, but first a couple tips from Parsons:

  • How to choose: All apples should be smooth-skinned and deeply colored. Yellow apples should be golden, and striped apples should have a background color that is nearly golden. Apples should be heavy for their size and firm to the touch.
  • How to store: Apples should be kept as close to 32 degrees and with as much humidity as possible. Store them in an open or perforated plastic bag to retain moisture without collecting water. Put the bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.


  • 1/4 cup dried sour cherries

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 4 apples (about 1 pound), peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted


  1. 1.

    In a small bowl, cover the cherries with the bourbon and set aside to plump while you prepare the rest of the dish.

  2. 2.

    Place the diced apples and water in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Cover and cook until the apples are tender enough to smash with the back of a spoon, 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Add the butter. Using a wooden spoon or heavy whisk, beat just enough to smash the apples into a thick, chunky sauce. Stir in the cherries and bourbon and continue cooking until the raw alcohol smell of the bourbon has burned off, about 5 minutes. Stir in the hazelnuts and serve.