There’s a slight chill in the air, the nights are getting longer, and my Saturdays involve college football. (GO BUCKEYES!) Fall has arrived! For
Karen some people, fall is ushered in by all things pumpkin. For me, fall means apples. Apple pie, apple crisp and applesauce.
Some might say that I’m somewhat of an applesauce snob. I remember being a kid and telling someone (maybe my aunt?) that I wasn’t going to have the applesauce with dinner because it was from the store, not homemade. (In hindsight, I bet I sounded a little bratty then. Sorry ’bout that.) I don’t think of it as being a snob, just having high standards. This is one of those times where the homemade stuff really is better. It’s not hard to make, and since I freeze mine, rather than can it, it’s a cinch. (Plus, frozen applesauce makes an excellent snack. It’s like a slushy, only better.)
Don’t let that picture scare you; homemade applesauce is easy.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Apples (I use a mix of apples for the best flavor; some of my favorites are Cortlands, Macs and Jonathans.) Sugar
Spices (I use cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.)
A large stock pot for cooking down the apples
A food mill/sauce maker OR a vegetable peeler and a potato masher
First, rinse off your apples and cut them in quarters. (If you don’t have a strainer like the one pictured above, you will also need to peel and core the apples. If you’re going to make a lot of sauce, I’d suggest investing in one. It’s a huge time saver!)
Place the apple chunks in the stock pot with about an inch of water. Simmer over medium heat until the apples are soft and mushy.
Pour the cooked apples and juice (yes, with the seeds and all) into the strainer. Place a pan underneath the strainer to catch the applesauce and another bowl underneath the waste spout to catch the seeds, cores and skins. Crank away! If you don’t have a strainer, take out your potato masher and smash the apples until they’re the consistency you want.
Pour the fresh applesauce into a bowl and season to taste with sugar and the spices. I use 1-2 tablespoons of sugar for that giant red bowl shown in the picture, and I add the spices until it tastes good! Fill your freezer containers, label, date, and you’re done! Don’t freeze it all though – the only thing that tastes better than frozen applesauce is fresh, piping hot applesauce!
From my mom