Every fall since I started graduate school, I have made applesauce. Perhaps it's my way of reliving the happy days of my childhood, when we would go apple picking and grandma would make applesauce in a big pot on the stove. I always loved eating it warm, in big spoonfuls right out of the pot. Interestingly, I have no memories of eating this applesauce cold and I suspect that very little actually made it into the fridge at the end of the day.
It wasn't until this year, however, that I discovered the joy that is rhubarb sauce. Sweet and tart, it's even easier to make than applesauce and just as delicious. If I don't watch myself, I will eat an entire pint in a single sitting, it's that good.
I'm not entirely sure when I had the brilliant idea to combine the two sauces, but I suspect it corresponded to finding two Ziploc bags full of rhubarb in the back of the freezer this week. With apple season in full swing, I knew I had to try this right away. The base recipe is the one I use to make applesauce each year, swapping half of the apples for rhubarb and omitting all of the spices except cinnamon. However, the most important thing in making apple, rhubarb, or apple-rhubarb sauce is to taste and adjust as you go. That way, you are sure to get the balance right for your type of apples and your particular flavor preference. Besides, it makes me really happy to eat spoonfuls of warm sauce straight from the pot.
12 apples, peeled and cores
4 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 cup sugar, or more to taste
1/3 cup lemon juice
Cinnamon to taste
Put apples and rhubarb in a large pot and fill with water so that half of the fruit is submerged. Heat to boiling, then reduce to a simmer. Add sugar and lemon juice. Cook until apples and rhubarb become soft and fall apart. Add cinnamon. Cook until desired consistency (if sauce becomes too thick before the fruit falls apart, add a little more water). Enjoy a bowl of warm sauce and stick the rest in the fridge, where it should keep for 1-2 weeks.