Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oh, Applesauce!*

Wonderful harvest of late apples this year on my solitary tree, and I've made many pots of applesauce. It's so not hard, anyone can do this if 1. they have a food mill or 2. they don't mind peeling the apples. I do mind, and I have a food mill.

First rinse and quarter the apples, and cut the cores out. Leave the peels on unless you *want* the extra work. Fill your pot as full as you want (I go right to the top) and add about 3/4 inch of water. Put a lid on the pot, put it over medium heat, and let them cook until they are completely soft--about 45 minutes? My apples are hard and not very juicy, so I keep an eye on them, stirring every eight minutes or so, and adding water if the mess seems to be getting too dry.

Yep, that's it. Time to take them off the heat and run them through the food mill--that's the fun part. Probably your youngest child will want to help turn the handle a time or two.

There you go. I freeze mine in freezer containers and the girls doctor each bowlful with brown sugar and cinnamon. None of the grownups in this house like applesauce, actually, but the children make up for it.

*If you don't read as much vintage fiction as some, you might not be aware that "Applesauce!" was a snappy comeback used by sassy teens in the thirties.


Heather said...

What vintage fiction do you read? I adore vintage fiction and recently read a bunch of Trixie Belden books. I also enjoyed the Sue Barton series. So quaint, adorable and innocent.

Margo said...

Yup, that's how I make applesauce too - the same food mill and all! Sometimes I do an extra step, an additional puree in the blender. It's so silky and smooth.

We also love cranberry applesauce - where I throw a bag of cranberries in with 4-6 apples and then make applesauce. It's a gorgeous color. This does need to be sweetened, but we like it on the tart side. We eat it with Thanksgiving favorites.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Anna! I truly enjoy following your blog!! I have a question about your applesauce and how you make it. I was wondering, do you put the apples in your pot, then put about 3/4 inch water in the bottom, or are you saying to put the apples in the pot, then fill the pot with water about 3/4 inches ABOVE the apples? As you can tell, I'm new at making applesauce, but you make everything look so easy, I'm willing to give it a try! Also, what kind of apple tree do you have? I'm interested if one type of apple is better than the other. Thanks!!

Anna said...

Just 3/4 inch of water total, enough to keep the apples from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Don't drown them! I have an Arkansas Black tree, which is a heritage variety that grows well in the south. I'm going to add a Golden Delicious this winter, and see if it can battle neglect as successfully!

Kate said...

I would rather my children retort with "applesauce" rather than the popular, dismissing and annoying, "whatever.".

Applesauce does sound yum. Check out my blog. I have a vintage recipe for a delish applesauce cake posted from A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband with Bettina's Best Recipes.

Kimberlee said...

That's how we make applesauce -love my Oxo mill! I don't even bother to core the apples as milling takes care of them as well (great job for a teenaged boy). We buy 'deer apples' - boxes of seconds from the farmers' market at very little cost. They are perfect for sauce as cooking a variety of apples makes for really tasty sauce. Margo, can't wait to try your cranberry idea. And that's so funny about the 'saucy' sass!

Elisabeth Black said...

Homemade applesauce is so good! I don't even cut the cores out.

erin said...

The first time I made applesauce, I cored and peeled the apples because I didn't have a food mill. I found a recipe for using the peels and cores to make apple jelly, so I not only got applesauce, I also got several pints of apple jelly out of the deal.

Now I have a food mill, but I occasionally consider peeling and coring just so I can get some apple jelly out of the deal. I've wondered if I can use the "waste" from the food mill in a similar way to make jelly, but haven't tried it. Wondering if anyone else has maybe given that a try??

Anonymous said...

I too have been making apple sauce but I'm using crab apples and it is delicious too though a little more tart than regular apples. I wash the the crab apples and through them in a pot...stems, peel, seeds, and all....add some water, cook them soft and then run them through a sieve. I have the kind that stands on 3 legs and use a cone shaped wooden thing to run it around the cone shaped sieve. The pulp goes to the chickens.

A few days ago I did this but strained the sauce for the juice after sieving it and got over a gallon for jelly and juice.

The strained applesauce pulp can be used in recipes.

Your sauce looks thick and yummy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the vintage detail!

I leave the cores + seeds, also. I have heard that vitamin K and smallest bits of arsenic are in the seeds and pits of fruit, though I haven't verified. An elderly German friend always put the pits in her fruit jam when cooking the fruit as that little bit of arsenic is supposed to be healthy.

deb meyers

Anna said...

mmm, we have been making applesauce, apple butter, apple jelly and apple juice! the jelly turned out an amazing pink color from the skins of Ida Red apples

Lisa said...

I'm sure I have that same food mill - somewhere.........


Anonymous said...

I had to chuckle at reading this: ...."Applesauce!" was a snappy comeback used by sasy teens in the thirties. Just recently I was watching "Sorry, Wrong Number", & Barbara Stanwyck's character uses that line to a fellow coed, while arguing about the man they're both in love with. Miss Stanwyck played a very good spoiled brat in that movie!


p.s. I love applesauce. :o)

Margo said...

I just reread the comments - never thought of using the sludge that's left after I use the food mill. I didn't think there would be any flavor or nutrition left.

and arsenic?! who knew a tiny bit of arsenic might be good for us!

I wrote a little bit about cranberry applesauce in this blog post:

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the arsenic bit naturally kills bad bugs in our system. Something to verify when I have nothing else to do :)

deb m

Anonymous said...

I want to clarify to Margo that the pulp I was suggesting using in recipes is the applesauce pulp that has had the juice strained out.
First, take out the seed, peel, and stems.
What you have left is crab applesauce. Either leave it like that, or strain the juice out. If the applesauce is good for you, should the pulp from the applesauce be good too?

I find this blog so inspiring. It will never inspire me to run though. lol Exercise, yes. Run, No.


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