I met Louise Salinger when I was living in Westchester County, New York. Salinger’s Orchard, in Brewster, was just over the border in nearby Putnam County. I visited regularly throughout the autumn to buy apples, cider, and hot doughnuts. She was a great cook and provided big hearty meals for her hardworking family. When Louise’s husband, Bob, died, her son Bruce and his wife, Maureen, took over the running of the orchard. Maureen is still head baker for their orchard market and still makes Louise’s meat loaf with homemade applesauce. It’s Bruce’s favorite and also mine. I often make it in a 9- by 5-inch glass loaf pan.
- 3 small slices fresh bread, crumbled (about 1½ cups)
- 1 medium red or white onion
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork or turkey
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 egg
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3 tablespoons apple cider
- 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the bread in a large mixing bowl. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the onion into the bowl. Add the beef, pork, ketchup, egg, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix well and shape into a round loaf. Place in a baking pan and bake for 45 minutes.
Heat the applesauce, cider, brown sugar, and the remaining 1 teaspoon mustard in a small saucepan over medium heat until the brown sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
Pour over the meat loaf and bake for 30 minutes longer.
Leigh Beisch Photography with food stylist Robyn Valarik