So we here at Kitchen Confit realize that we haven’t posted in a while. A combination of vacation, school, family and life in general caught up with all of us. When that happens it is hard enough to remember to cook, let alone post. But now we’re back and we’ll do better! Besides it’s fall – that means there are wonderful new foods to cook. As I’ve mentioned before, fall to me is apples. Usually the first apple recipe I make in the fall is homemade applesauce – and this year was no exception.
When I was growing up, I don’t think I tasted store-bought applesauce until I went to school. My mother made homemade applesauce all through the fall and froze it so that it lasted well into the winter. The homemade stuff was rosy pink, tangy and sweet without being sugary. Compared to Mom’s applesauce, the store-bought kind is pasty and pale and way too sweet. I find it amazing that so many people actually eat the store-bought kind – I always figure that when they realize how easy and good homemade applesauce is, they’ll never buy Motts again.
The only special equipment you need is a food mill. I’ve made applesauce before with a potato ricer, and if you peel the apples you could even use a food processor to mash them up. But really, you don’t want to peel the apples – it is too much work and the peels give the finished product this wonderful pink tint. Just buy a food mill – they’re relatively cheap and it makes the whole applesauce thing as easy as turning a crank.
So you’ve got your food mill. The rest of the recipe is simple. Get a stock pot (I used an 8 quart aluminum one). Get some apples (for this batch, I used a combination of three kinds – Cortlands, Romas, and Johnsons – but feel free to mix it up with different apple varieties appropriate for applesauce). Cut the apples into quarters and core them. Throw the apples into the pot; add a bit of water, cider, or liquid of your choice; cover and set over medium heat for 30 minutes. Stir a few times, so that apples at the top go the bottom, but generally just let the apples become mushy. After 30 minutes remove the pot from the heat and run the mushy apples through the food mill. Voila – you have warm, yummy applesauce.
At this point, you could freeze some of the sauce; to defrost, just let it sit in the fridge over night. I’m actually not sure how long it lasts in the fridge – we always eat it up long before it could go bad. As for how to serve it, well, my mom always served it straight up, but I like a little nutmeg and cinnamon. If you like your applesauce on the sweet side you could also add a tablespoon or so of sugar. Just be sure to do it while warm – that way the sugar will dissolve seamlessly into the sauce. But really, as long as the apples are ripe and in season, you won’t need sugar. And the end product is just so much better than anything you could ever buy, I can guarantee you’ll be making this every weekend come the fall. Just like mom.
10-12 pounds of apples – or enough to fill up a large stock pot when quartered and cored.
1/2 c. to 1 c. of water
Fill up a large stock pot with quartered and cored apples. If the apples are firm and crisp you might want to cut them into smaller pieces. Depending on how juicy the apples are add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water to the pot. Cover and cook over medium heat for approximately 30 minutes. Stir several times so the apples evenly cook. After the apples are mushy remove from the heat. Run the mushy apple mixture through a food mill. Store the finished applesauce in a covered container in the refrigerator.