In the past when I have made applesauce, someone said to me, “I didn’t even know you could make homemade applesauce.”
How did we get so far away from how our food is made? How did there get to be so many steps between the farm and the table?
I suppose convenience plays a huge part. I mean, who wants to spend a Sunday afternoon peeling and chopping apples and then listening to the sound of them bubbling gently on the stove and smell the sweet aroma as it fills the house when you can got buy it at a busy, crowded store in plastic, pre-portioned containers?
Picture this: me sitting at my computer, raising my hand. Me. I want to make applesauce and spend a Sunday afternoon peeling and chopping apples and listening to them bubbling gently on the stove and smell the sweet aroma as it fills my house. Me. That’s who.
Applesauce is shockingly easy to make. You just peel some apples (although this step is considered optional by some), chop them up, and cook ’em a pot with a little bit of water and sugar (although some people think the sugar is also optional). You let this cook until the apples are mushy and look like applesauce. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
For my batch, I used a mixture of Empire and Jonagold. T here are lot of good apples for cooking with so you can pick and choose what you like. A mixture is always nice as you can get lots of different flavors in one batch. The ones I used is what happened to be available at the orchard when I was there.
Which brings me to another point I want to make about applesauce making. Be sure to get your apples at an orchard. They will be more fresh than from a grocery store and they often have utility apples for sale. Utility apples are those that are bruised or misshapen or otherwise unattractive and probably wouldn’t sell for straight up eating. They are still edible, of course, and perfect for making applesauce and much cheaper.
Here is how I made my applesauce and it was a big hit. Ella even had some for dessert last night. I guess she didn’t inherit my philosophy that fruit is fruit and chocolate is dessert. No matter…this applesauce is delicious. Dessert or not.
1 peck of apples (I used 1/2 peck Empire and 1/2 peck Jonagold)
2 cups water
2/3 cups white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
Peel the apples. Core and cut up to equal-sized pieces.
Put the apples into a big pot (mine was 7 1/4 quarts). Add water and put over medium-high heat. When apples starts to break down a bit and are easier to stir, add the sugars and mix in. Let apples continue to simmer over medium-low heat until mushy and looks like applesauce, stirring occasionally. Break-up big pieces with a potato masher. Eat warm or cold. Yum!
This makes a pretty big batch of applesauce. I kept some out and froze the rest. It can also be canned, but I’m not into canning so I can’t help you with that.
*Note: You can also add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to your applesauce when you add in the sugars. I don’t like my applesauce spiced so I omit these.