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.
- 3 pounds assorted apples – the sweeter the better
- 1/2 cup water
- 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
- Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the apples are soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to handle.
- 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).
- Taste; sweeten if needed. Makes 2 pints or 1 quart and can be frozen or processed in water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- 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