Friday, January 1, 2016

An illustrated guide to making applesauce

A long, long time ago... and maybe in another galaxy, when I was very young, my mom taught me how to make applesauce. It is a fun and relaxing project for a cold day, when you find yourself looking for an indoor activity.

The first thing that you need to do to make delicious applesauce is to collect apples. In the winter, when there are no more apples to be picked from the tree, you'll have to collect your apples from the supermarket. It is always good to choose at least three different types of apples. There are a few apples to avoid because they are not particularly juicy. I try to avoid any apple that "reviews" itself in its title, such as "delicious." It's an eating apple and will not really add much flavor to your applesauce.

The best mix of apples will include both sweet and tart apples.

I had a great variety of apples on hand.
These are the apples that I used for this batch of applesauce:
  • snapdragon
  • macoun
  • granny smith
  • empire
  • junami
  • pink lady
  • macintosh

I cored and sliced five quarts of apples. This is a very relaxing activity. I suggest listening to your favorite music while slicing. Just don't dance at the same time. That might be too much multi tasking and could be hazardous for the health and for your precious fingers. Some people like to peel their apples before making applesauce but I don't, for three reasons:
  1. there are a lot of vitamins in the peel
  2. cooking with the peel still attached adds a lovely color to your applesauce
  3. peeling is just too much work!

Once you have your apples sliced, you will boil approximately two and a half cups of water in a large pot. When the water is boiling, add all of the apples, turn the heat down to medium and cover the pot. After ten minutes, check to make sure that you have enough water. If no, add water. If yes, re-cover the pot.

Check the apples every ten minutes. Stir the apples and re-cover. Your apples will be ready when they are very soft, to the point of being mushy.

Your next step will be to add the flavorings. This is very individual. The ingredients that I add are sugar (one-third of a cup), the juice of three lemons, two-thirds of a teaspoon of cinnamon, and two-thirds of a teaspoon of ground lemon peel. Some people like to add nutmeg as well. Stir your seasonings into your applesauce. If you like your applesauce lumpy, you are finished at this point.
If you prefer smoother applesauce, you'll want to put the apples through a food mill. This will remove peel and other stuff that you might not find desirable. I put the applesauce through the food mill twice because people in my family like their applesauce to be very smooth.



Once the applesauce is made, make sure to share a taste test with at least one other person. You want the other person to tell you if the seasonings work or if they need to be adjusted. You can then adjust the seasonings to taste.

Five quarts of apples makes quite a bit of applesauce. This is something that you can eat at home and it is also an easy thing to bring to potluck meals.

Enjoy!

9 comments:

Kandas said...

I make chunky apple sauce in small batches in my mini crockpot as a side dish. 5 apples at a time. I just add cinnamon, no water, and ocassionally add a tablespoon of brown sugar. Easy and delicious.

Susan Deppner said...

I love to make applesauce, though I prefer mine chunky. Very glad to see that you leave the peels on the apples. That's what makes the finished product so good and good for you!

Alice Gerard said...

Thank you, Kandas. Your applesauce sounds delicious. Susan, I like applesauce either smooth or chunky although my family wants it smooth.

Bethany Lotulelei said...

Oh, Alice, this is so very helpful! I have a bunch of apples I need to process or they are going to go south. Thanks for the inspiration!

Alice Gerard said...

You're welcome, Bethany! Enjoy!

Amy Bovaird said...

I like making applesauce, Alice!
Yours sounds so yummy! I make it once with a juicer at Blind school. That takes a lot of guesswork when you are wearing sleep shades! My sister was very into juicing and she gave me a recipe. My instructor loved it!
Amy

The Gratitude Guru said...

Hi Alice -

Like some other commenters state, I prefer the thick and chunky applesauce! I usually make fresh applesauce once a season (in the fall) and always ask myself, 'hy don't you do this more often?'

I think I will make some this week! Ohh - another favorite of mine is baked apples!

Be Well.
Paul.
Digital Maestro

Life of a Busy Mommy said...

MMM, this looks so good, I love applesauce, and it looks like it would be a great way to spend time with your kids by letting them help. Thanks so much for sharing! Happy New Year

peppylady (Dora) said...

Looks good. I dried pears in my dehydrator, stop in from Alana

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