What to do with all of the apples I collected for the photo in my last post? Applesauce.
Applesauce is easy to make, and your efforts will be deliciously rewarded. It’s really worth the effort, and it’s a great dish to do with young children. Kids love applesauce, and eating the applesauce that they’ve helped to make is a real treat. Pride of accomplishment makes it taste that much better!
I make applesauce by using a variety of apples in each batch. Usually, I peel, core, and cut up whatever apples I have available. I put them in a thick-bottomed pot and add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan by 1/4″ or so. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pot, and reduce it to a simmer. Then cook the apples until they are soft. It doesn’t take long. That’s it. For those of you who like more exact measurements, I made a small batch today and measured as I went.
Yields 2 cups
- 2 pounds quality apples
- 1/4 cup water
- your choice of seasonings: white or brown sugar (or some of both), honey, maple syrup, grated lemon rind, lemon juice, cinnamon (either stick or ground), horseradish, 1-2 tablespoons butter
Peel, core, and cut the apples into chunks. You can do this easily with a knife. When I use a knife I find it most efficient to first quarter the apples, then I peel, core , and cut them into smaller pieces.
Or, if you have an apple slicer, place the apple cutting tool on top of the apple, press down, et voila! Your apple is sliced and cored. Check the slices to see that no core was left behind. Peel and cut up the slices.
Place the apple pieces in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the water. Place the pot over medium heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and then cover the pot. Cook until the apples are soft and cooked through. Lift the lid and check the apples periodically. Add water or apple juice during the cooking process if the mixture becomes dry. Some apples will become puree in the cooking process, others will maintain much of their shape. When the apples are soft and falling apart remove the pot from the heat.
If you like a chunkier applesauce, mash or stir the apples until you achieve the consistency you desire. For smoother applesauce, pass the apples through a food mill or puree in a food processor or blender. Caution: whenever you process hot food in a processor or blender do so in small amounts. If you overfill a blender with hot foods the contents will explode.
More often than not, I like applesauce simply plain. If you’ve used flavorful apples, simple applesauce is delicious. I like it a bit chunky and usually just use a potato masher to mash it up. But, of course, add any of the sweeteners or seasonings that you would like.
Applesauce keeps up to a week in the fridge. It also freezes and cans well.