September 17, 2008

ABC's of Applesauce

Is this appealing to you? This is so easy to do. I encourage you to get some apples from a local source like your farmer's market, or go pick some at a u-pick farm, or go to your neighbor's yard when it's dark - just kidding - unless your neighbor is a really sound sleeper and doesn't have a dog - no just kidding really - but you could always ask your neighbor nicely and maybe barter for some finished applesauce! Do try to make sure that whatever your source, the apples haven't been sprayed with pesticides.

A. I started with 15 pounds of Early Blaze apples - thanks to uncle and auntie again!
Note to self - get some better looking bowls. This "circus" bowl was purchased as a server for my daughter's 12th birthday party and only then was it cute! Also, note to hubby - I could sure use a second stock pot :)

B. Quarter the apples, remove the stem, nip off the flower end, plus any other spots that make you squeamish. You really, really don't need to peel or core them. The peel holds vitamins and helps give the natural rosy color, and leaving in the core saves tons of time. I did not add sugar since we prefer it that way. If you're not such a purist, then look for a recipe for amounts to add.

C. Cook them with just enough water on the bottom of the pot to keep them from sticking - maybe a 1/4 cup - you'll have to judge based on the size of your pot. I also added two whole cinnamon sticks since DH likes the applesauce flavored that way. Then I cover the pot so that the ones on the top start steaming since it takes a while before it's cooked down evenly. I used a low heat setting on my gas stove. You have to check the pot often to make sure you aren't scorching the apples, and be extremely cautious when stirring as this stuff tends to erupt occasionally. I did two batches with this amount of apples and each one took about an hour to cook down, but there are so many variables that there is no prediction about how long yours would take.

D. Once the apples are all soft, you put the mixture through a hand crank sieve like this one - or there are other contraptions that work too. I know some who like to use the attachments on their KitchenAid mixers. The next to the smallest size disk is the one I use on my sieve, since I don't want the seeds to be able to get through. If I see that the seeds and skins are starting to build up too much while I'm sieving, I'll tap it out into the sink and then keep going. Also, since this isn't being processed for canning, I let it cool down just a little before I start this step to avoid getting spattered and burned.

E. Last step is to simply ladle the sauce into containers, label, and freeze. You may want to cool it a little bit more before you put the lid on. I ended up with slightly over 8 pints. Applesauce is such a comforting thing to eat all winter long. It compliments just about any kind of meal too. How about an applesauce cake for the first snow? Now you want to make some don't you?!

Well, this is all then.

2 comments :

  1. Lovely blog. Thanks for the inspirations. I am cooking apples down right now.

    Grace and Peace.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the kind words and happy apple cooking!

    ReplyDelete