Monday, September 12, 2011

Make it Yourself Monday: Homemade Applesauce

I’ll be the first to admit that making your own applesauce is not the least bit difficult.  Filling my freezer with jars and jars of homemade applesauce is one of my favorite fall activities. And the best part is how it makes the house smell. One whiff of that cinnamon-y apple goodness, and you know it’s fall. 
The early crop of Burgundy apples I used for this batch of applesauce literally just appeared at my door. Well, to be accurate, they were delivered by my brother from my parents’ house.  My mother’s friend has an apple orchard and was practically giving apples away.  I got an entire bushel for only $5!! That is less than the price of 2 jars of Santa Cruz Organic Applesauce at Wegmans. 
These apples were a little time-sensitive, since they had been at my mom’s house for a few days before I got them and it was swelteringly hot out, so I had to make the applesauce right away. 
There are as many applesauce making methods as there are varieties of apples, but what follows is the method that works the best for me.  Keep in mind that this is my bulk recipe, but it’s pretty foolproof to adjust to whatever quantity of apples you have on hand. 
Homemade Applesauce
Step One: Wash your apples. I just fill the sink with cold water and agitate them gently for a few minutes.

Step Two: Cut the apples into quarters. I don’t peel, de-stem, or de-anything to my apples. I generally use organic apples, so I worry less about the pesticide residue. If I know I’m using conventional apples that have been sprayed, I will use my apple peeler to peel them first.

Step Three: Fill a stock pot no more than 2/3 full of apples. Fill halfway with water, but don’t cover the apples with the water. Some people will disagree with me here, but I really prefer a thick applesauce to a watery one.

Step Four: Simmer on Medium Heat uncovered for about 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye on the apples and stir a few times. You’ll know the apples are done when the skins are falling off and they are fairly mushy. They don’t have to be sauce consistency yet, though.
Step Five: Here’s where the magic happens. Break out the Foley Food Mill, pour in apples, and grind away. All the savory apple yumminess will be strained through, while all the solid seeds and peels will be left in the food mill. Oh, you’re going to need a big bowl to mill the sauce into. I’ve used the Tupperware bowl pictured forever.

Step Six: Add sugar and cinnamon. For the quantity of apples used here (one bushel), I used a cup of sugar and 3 tbsp cinnamon. You could also add some nutmeg or ginger for a more savory bite. I tend to keep mine kind of bland because I also use the applesauce as an oil substitute in my baking, and I can always add more spices into individual servings. 
Step Seven: Let cool in the large bowl for a few hours, then carefully ladle into mason jars.  When the applesauce is completely cool, screw on the tops and freeze!  Applesauce will stay good in deep freeze for up to a year.
There are so many uses for homemade applesauce: it’s an easy snack for kids, a good add-in to waffles, a substitute for oil in baking recipes, swirled into oatmeal, or made into a glaze for pork dishes.  It’s easy to make, delicious, healthy, and inexpensive. What could be better?

This recipe is part of Live Renewed's Your Green Resource Link-Up!

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At September 12, 2011 at 9:24 PM , Blogger Crunchy Beach Mama said...

Yum Yum Yum! :)

At September 13, 2011 at 10:40 AM , Blogger Heather Capewell said...

My family would love you! I make apple sauce, like 1 jar, maybe once a year. I can't eat it anymore without it bringing up a bad time in the hospital when I was pregnant with low potassium. Long story short they laced it in my applesauce.

This is a great way to preserve the fall harvest!


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