Ahhhh......fall! Cooler weather, soon-to-be-changing leaves, apple cider, pumpkins....I love it all! One of the things I really love about fall, especially this month ~ apples! We have fun apple picking at a nearby orchard, and enjoy tasting all kinds of apple treats. I typically try out new recipes each year, but the one tradition we have that must happen every year is applesauce.
When you make homemade applesauce you not only save money, but you know exactly what ingredients you are using, and in this case it's only one ingredient: apples. It tastes much better than what you can buy in stores and it's really not as hard as you might think! I can remember my grandma and mom both making applesauce over the years, but I didn't really learn how until after I was married, when Jon's grandpa taught me. I'm a little biased, but I think this is the best applesauce ever. :)
So here's what you do...
Get some apples. This year I bought 1 1/2 bushels. Following Gramps' advice, go for Ginger Gold. To us they have the perfect taste, so you will not need to add any sugar. We usually wait a few days and let the apples soften up a little bit. Then wash them, and use an apple cutter to core & slice them. (There is no need to peel them if you will be using something like a Victorio Strainer). Fill a heavy duty pot about 3/4 of the way full, and add a little water - not much, just enough so the apples don't scorch on the bottom.
Cook on medium heat for a little while, stirring every so often (do you like my precise measurements?), until apples are mushy.
When the apples are mushy, dump them into the funnel of your strainer and crank that handle! You will want a bowl to catch the peels, and also something to collect the actual sauce. If you have added too much water, most of it will come out with the first couple turns of the crank, and you can dump it out so your applesauce isn't too runny. **My son loves to help turn the crank, but it is important to have your child stand back when you are dumping your apples into the funnel....they are HOT and could easily burn you!**
When the applesauce cools, fill your containers. I use plastic containers I buy from my local grocery store's deli. I wash them out and and save them from year to year. If I ever learn to can, I could can my applesauce, but since I am intimidated by the canning process, I choose to freeze mine. Here's a glimpse of my freezer...
my fresh homemade applesauce nearly fills the top shelf! (Yes, I know I need to defrost!) We'll have plenty of applesauce and will be able to have a taste of fall throughout the year!
Linked to: Remodelaholic Recipe Party, The Frugal Girls,