It's Autumn, and apples are cheap! I love apples, and I got a screaming deal on 75 lbs. You can usually get better prices from your local growers if you ask for their seconds, or culls. These are the apples that aren't as pretty as the others, and can't be sold at a premium price. Often, growers are happy to give you good deals for these, to keep them from becoming animal feed. Check at your local farmer's market, or look for neighbors with lots of apples in their trees.
Home made applesauce is easy and delicious, and fun to make.
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Step 1: Equipment Needed
Large pot with lid
Large sharp knife
Small strainer with a handle
A slotted spoon
Spoon or other implement for stirring (I like wood)
Foley Food Mill
Wire strainer with a rubber Spatula
Cone-shaped strainer with wooden pestle
Step 2: Ingredients
I used about 10 medium sized apples
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
about 1 inch of fresh ginger, chopped (optional)
I used 3 kinds of apples- Criterion, a sweet apple, Granny Smith, kind of tart, and Red Delicious, very sweet. Use your best guess if you have more than 1 variety available. If you only have tart apples, you may want to add a little sugar to the recipe, taste it first, though.
The cinnamon and ginger are to taste, and can be increased or eliminated as you taste requires.
Other optional ingredients are: nutmeg, cloves, mace, and salt (just a pinch!).
Step 3: Wash Your Apples
I put them in the sink with cold water to wash off any dust, bugs and non-apple stuff.
Step 4: Water and Seasoning Into the Pan
chop the ginger coarsely, and add it to the water and cinnamon
Step 5: Cut Up and Cook the Apples
I just halve them, then cut 3 or 4 times across. Put them into the pan, seeds, peelings and all!
Cover and turn the heat on high until the water boils, then turn it down to low heat until the apples are cooked very soft. I let them go about 45 minutes, but your time may vary.
Step 6: Make Sauce!
Pour the hot cooked apples into the bowl, then rinse the pan out and set it next to the bowl.
Using the handled strainer or the slotted spoon, scoop up a small amount of the apples and put them into your food mill or strainer. Leave the juice in the bowl, you'll add it later.
--A Brief Word About the Foley Food Mill
My mother has one, her mother had one, my dad's mom had one, and I'm pretty sure her mom had one. It is the coolest low-tech food processor since the knife. I found mine at a local thrift store for about $4, and I use it constantly. There may be an electric appliance to do the same thing, but there is nothing better for making applesauce.
If you're using the Foley, just turn the crank, and add apples as the strainer part gets empty. Don't throw out the peelings and seeds yet.
If you're using a strainer, start mashing the soft apple through the mesh using the rubber spatula.
After you've mashed all the cooked apples through you mill or strainer, put the peelings and seeds back into the bowl with the juice. (You DID save the juice, right?) Stir it around to get all the bits of apple into the juice, then pour that mixture into the food mill or strainer to get the last little bit into the pot.
Step 7: Enjoy!
Mix the sauce thoroughly, and serve it warm, or you can refrigerate it for later. It also freezes well, or if you're into canning, you can can it. (yes, I said can can)
Participated in the
Homemade Holidays: Holiday Treats Contest