Applesauce

Frank and I tagged along on a trip arranged by our local council (a great local council if ever there was one) to visit some local farms. The council does this as part of their environmental program. The main thrust was to help residents become more aware about food miles – the distance your meal travelled before it reached your plate – and to hopefully encourage local and seasonal buying to minimise our food’s carbon foot print.

Of course it was also a cool day out tramping around farms, listening to farmers and checking out the region. This year we visited a couple of fruit farms and apples were in season. Frank and I (and everyone on the bus) picked 2 types: gala and akane. We picked a lot of them. Waaaaayyy too many for us to just eat as is. Or maybe not, they will keep for a while under our house, but still, any time I have a “surplus” I think of ways to use it.

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Gala and Akane Apples

The most obvious way to deal with too many apples is to give some away, which we did, but not a lot because I’m a greedy guts. The second way to deal with our bounty is to make applesauce. In fact I had this in mind as I was over-picking fruit from the tree.

When I got the fruit home I looked up recipes (embarrassingly simple) since I’ve never made applesauce before. Then Frank explained the way his mother made applesauce (even simpler) and I gave that a go. Here’s my adapted applesauce recipe:

IMG_1786 IMG_1790 IMG_1796IMG_18011) Take a bunch of apples (I used 7), wash and quarter them. Cut out any nasty bits (bad bruising or dirty bottoms) that might negatively influence the flavour of your applesauce.

2) Put the apples in a pot with a cinnamon stick or a small amount of ground cinnamon. (This is optional but who doesn’t like cinnamon in their applesauce?)

3) Add a tiny bit of water (enough to stop them from browning). Unless they’re old and dry (when you might need to add more water) they will be very wet on their own.

4) Simmer until soft (mine took about 15 minutes).

5) Push through a sieve. I actually poured off a bit of the water before doing this because I didn’t want such wet sauce. The resulting apple juice was yummy. I also let the apples cool a bit as I don’t like getting burnt.

6) Taste the applesauce. This is a really important step. The applesauce might be done here – mine was but my apples were pretty sweet. If you want to add sugar (don’t feel guilty, a bit of sugar won’t hurt) add it now in the amount required to reach your desired sweetness. You can also add a bit of lemon juice which helps give the sauce a bit of tartness and depth of flavour (if you have old or bland apples, this becomes more important). The lemon juice will also help your sauce maintain its colour. If you’ve added sugar, put the applesauce back in the cooking pot and heat through for a few minutes to make sure you don’t end up with grainy sugar bits.

7) Pour into jars. If you make a big batch you need to sterilise the jars as for any preserving exercise but for a batch to be used within a few days (and stored in the fridge) any clean jar or plastic container will work.

I used 7 medium apples and ended up with about 700 grams of applesauce in a large jar. It’s kind of pink (I assume because of the type of apple I used and because I didn’t peel the apples before cooking), is really good and won’t last long. Besides just a great snack, we use applesauce on pancakes with a bit of sprinkled cinnamon sugar. It might be a little healthier than maple syrup and sure does taste great.

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Homemade Applesauce

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
This entry was posted in Recipe, Sustainability and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Applesauce

    • Too good actually, it looks like so much but when I decided it made a great dessert it somehow vanished. Perhaps applesauce evaporates and I didn’t really gobble up the whole jar in the blink of an eye.

  1. Linda says:

    Delicious! I ended up getting a good deal on apples a ways back…2 or 3 bushels for $10/each. Needless to say, I’m STILL swimming in apple sauce! I’ve been slowly turning it into delicious apple butter…

  2. Yum, Yum, Yum! We love making and canning applesauce!

  3. Love me some applesauce. I remember apple picking in New Hanpshire. Did it every fall and went to a farm where you could make your own cider (juice) from the drops. Everyone took a turn at a couple of presses and came away with a few gallons worth. Great days!

  4. Looks yummy. I always add the lemon juice at the beginnning of the cooking as it stops the apples turning brown. I stew apples a lot and then freeze them in single portions so they can be added to other fruit when making crumbles or pies.

    • Good tips – both the lemon and storing them for crumbles or pies. My problem with storing is lack of freezer space. I suspect if I had my own apple tree (or anything that produced huge crops) I’d end up investing in a chest freezer but right now I just have the normal one that sits under my fridge – not much room for storing fruit and veg in there.

  5. vuchickens says:

    Looks delicious! And wow, you really are heading into Autumn, aren’t you! So weird as it’s finally turning into Spring here. I’ll have to try this recipe when we get back to Autumn with our local apples. They are always at their best when the crops are new.

    • Everything is so much better in season. I rarely buy things out of season (root vegetables being the exception – I always have onions and garlic on hand) because they cost a bomb out of season and never taste as good. Seems a mugs game to me!

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