Nothing say fall is finally here to me like applesauce. I know pumpkin is all the rage these days, but applesauce and I go a long way back and I am sticking with my loyal friend.
Ever since I can remember my mom would buy apple “seconds” and make them into delicious homemade applesauce. Days on end she would wash, cut, cook, spin and freeze bag after bag of the yummy stuff. I loved it warm, right after it was spun, I loved it frozen with icy chunks, I loved it…well, pretty much any way we had it. It was always a sad day when we would eat the last bag of the homemade kind and had to switch over to the store bought. But fall would roll around again and with it applesauce!
I have continued this tradition. Each year, I have made applesauce. I love the way it makes my home smell. If you have never tried this, you are missing out. Do so, and without delay 🙂
It’s really not that hard.
I start with “seconds” of apples. They are the ones that are not pretty enough to sell at full price, but for the job of applesauce they work perfectly and are usually sold at a discount (some places call them utility apples). I like to use a variety of kinds. I feel like it makes a better sauce, so whatever the farm has I take.
Next I wash, cut and core the apples. No peeling required. They then go into a large pot. I have my Grandma’s old applesauce pot and I love that I get to use it as I remember my Mom using it when I was little. I usually add a little water to the bottom of the pot to help prevent the apples from burning.
Over low heat, I cook the apples until they are super soft, stirring occasionally. This can take a few hours, it all depends on the apples. They will look a bit un-appetizing right now, but fear not, the next step will solve this problem.
Next, using a food mill, spin the applesauce. This separates the peels from the sauce. And there you have it, homemade goodness! The final applesauce can be enjoyed right away, canned or put into freezer bags. This time I canned the batch I made. A bit more work then just throwing into freezer bags, but when you have a large canning pot, you kinda just want to use it 😉
Now, you could throw way the pulp, but I like to save it, process it in my food processor until it is smoother and make apple bread out of it (I share that recipe soon). So save those not-so-pretty peels and you’ll be glad you did once you make that bread!