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Applesauce

Well, here it is, October already, and we’re all dressed up for Halloween at the Sushi Bar – it’s just so much fun.

The fall harvest is beginning to wind down a bit; we picked up our last CSA share this Saturday.  There’s still an abundance of stuff at the farmer’s market, though, and the cool weather crops are doing just fine.  We now have two large boxes of winter squashes in our basement larder (more about that to come).  We’ve also discovered the most wonderful apple orchard not too far from our other farmers – they make the most incredible apple cider I’ve ever tasted.   While the orchard has has to cancel their “pick your own” days this year because of the drought this summer and a bad hail storm at the beginning of September, they still have plenty of apples (and cider!!) for sale…so we made Applesauce.

Lots and lots of applesauce.

Twenty pints, to be exact, which we promptly canned and stuck – yup – in the basement larder.  I’d never made my own applesauce before, and now I’m wondering why; it is just drop-dead easy – especially if you have a food mill.  You don’t need a great big one (unless, of course, you’re planning on making 20 pints of the stuff like some crazy people) – a small mill will work just fine.  Or you can push the applesauce through a fine-mesh sieve, but that’s just a little too labor-intensive for me.

I realize most people aren’t going to want to make 12 tons of applesauce – we canned just over two pecks of apples – so this recipe calls for a mere 3 pounds, which will yield 1 quart of tasty, tasty sauce, especially if you use a variety of apples.  A variety of apples will give the sauce a lovely depth of flavor that is lacking when just one type is used, and if you choose sweet apples, it is quite likely you will not need any added sugar.  Our sauce was made out of Jonathan, Jonagold, Melrose, Holiday and Cortland and not only is it superb, it needed no additional sweetener at all.

Both The G Man and The Young One love it, so there you go.

Note:  There’s no need to peel or core the apples; in fact, you shouldn’t – the peel lends a lot of flavor to the sauce and the core is where all of the pectin is, which helps keep it nice and thick.  It also gives the applesauce a nice, rosy hue, depending on the types of apples used.

Applesauce

Applesauce

5.0 from 3 reviews
Applesauce
 
Serves: 8 half-cups
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds assorted apples - the sweeter the better
  • 1/2 cup water
Instructions
  1. Remove the stems from the apples, and quarter them - do not peel or core them. Add the apples and water to a large stock pot that is large enough to hold all of the fruit with room to spare, as the apples will expand as they
  2. cook.
  3. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the apples are soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to handle.
  4. Working in batches, push the cooked apples and liquid through a a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the skins and seeds, or process through a food mill (again, discarding the skins and seeds).
  5. Taste; sweeten if needed. Makes 2 pints or 1 quart and can be frozen or processed in water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 88 calories, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 2.2mg sodium, 182.2mg potassium, 23.5g carbohydrates, 4.1g fiber, 17.7g sugar, <1g protein

 


13 comments

Sigh … I love fall.
I got a touch of it on my trip, but I keep having flashbacks to how pretty Boston was last year. It is supposed to be 102 here today and 106 within the next couple days.

Homemade apple sauce is one of the first things I learned to cook when I was a kid.
What type of apples did you primarily use?

Jan says:

It was an almost equal mixture of Jonathan, Jonagold, Melrose and Holiday apples – 1/2 peck of each – with a few Cortlands I had sitting on the counter thrown in. SO SO GOOD.

Michele says:

When we lived in Western Washington we had our own apple trees and we made a deal with the old lady up the street for the apples from her tree. A friend of ours owned a cider press. Every year we would pick from all the apples (no idea what types they were) into the bed of our truck. How many pecks this was I have no clue but it did fill the bed of the truck about halfway or more depending on how good the season. So let’s say a shit-ton of apples. We would then take the apples to our friend’s place and proceed to press approximately 60 gallons of cider; 48 for us, 6 for our friends (for the use of the press) and 6 for the old lady (for her apples. JR also took care of all the maintenance of her trees). The remaining apples were made into applesauce, apple butter, frozen apples for baking and dried apples. Beyond the labor, which was a lot, the whole year of apple stuff was free. We would freeze some of the cider for drinking throughout the year, let some of it get hard, for the adults, and canned fruit, in place of sugar, with the rest. We were all pioneer like back then.

Mmm, we love applesauce! i actually ended up with quite a few last week due to a school project that got cancelled, so I think I know what we’re making tomorrow!

Be says:

We might wish we had more before the winter is over.

Nancy says:

My Dad makes applesauce from our apples every year. We have 6 trees, each a different kind, so always have a nice assortment for him to use. He freezes the sauce and I just need to ask him for a few containers of it whenever I run low. It’s just great. He also takes care of our apple trees too, knowing that will get him a better crop of apples in the fall.
p.s. I love the jack o’ lantern banner for October!

I LOVE homemade apple sauce – and homemade apple butter. I really need to get some apples and make both of those, plus a new batch of apple wine. I better get busy. ;)

Alex says:

I didn’t realize using different kinds of apples was ideal! Thanks for the tip, Jan!

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