Photograph by Leigh Olson
Applesauce is one of the best-known and best-loved Jewish preserves because it is one of the two traditional toppings for potato pancakes or latkes. (The other being sour cream. The arguments over which topping is better can get rather heated.) Latkes are a Jewish deli staple, but are perhaps best known as the traditional dish for the festival of Hanukkah, at least among Ashkenazi Jews.
In Europe, Ashkenazi Jews often made a version of applesauce that included foraged berries, such as raspberries or blackberries. I have updated that tradition by adding cranberries, that quintessential North American berry, to my applesauce. The cranberries add tartness and a beautiful rosy color. Make this crimson-hued applesauce in October when whole cranberries and heirloom varieties of apples are readily available at farmers’ markets, and put up several jars to accompany your Hanukkah latkes in December. You may even convert some sour cream partisans to your side.