Are you ready for another fall-related recipe? I told you I love this season, so get ready for cinnamon-scented recipes for the next few months!
This is more of a tutorial than a recipe – on how I make my applesauce. Applesauce, to me, is more of an art than a science. I like to make applesauce every fall. Many years I will even can several quarts of sauce. I don’t think I will can this year just because space and storage are limited in our rental house, and I don’t want to move quarts of applesauce when our lease is up again. I hope you find this information useful! Please let me know if you have any questions, or if there are other tutorials I can make that would be helpful for you.
1) Apples. The first step is to get yourself some apples. I usually go to the orchard and get many pounds of apples if I will be canning them. Its really cost-effective to see if you can pick up windfall apples, which means you are agreeing to pick up apples off the ground instead of from the trees. The orchards will usually give you a better price on windfall apples – less than a dollar per pound in most instances! If you don’t go to an orchard, local farmer’s markets will often have vendors selling “B grade” apples, which means they aren’t as pretty, but they are a much better deal! It really doesn’t matter what your apples look like, so keep that in mind.
2) Variety. I like to mix several varieties of apples in my sauce. Different varieties lend different flavors and textures. You can ask the orchard or farmer which apples they recommend for sauce (versus pies or eating). Sauce apples typically break down more readily when heated and give a better texture. When I took these pictures, the only variety available was Paula Red. They are tart and a little sweet, and were great for sauce.
3) Prep your apples. Apples should be peeled, sliced, and cored. You can do this all by hand, or you can invest in a handy tool. I got mine for under $20.00 at Bed Bath and Beyond a few years ago. If you plan to make larger batches of sauce, I would highly recommend it because it saves a lot of time. This is just like the one I have at home. I especially like it because it vacuum seals to the countertop.
4) Season. This step is really based on your flavor preferences and how you plan to store the sauce. If you can your sauce, I would recommend adding lemon for preservation purposes. I am not going to do a canning tutorial, so if you want more information on canning, and how to properly preserve food, please reference a trusted source, such as Ball Canning Recipes, here.
I add brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and lemon to my sauce to season it. I add lemon even if I don’t plan to can it because I like the way it brightens the applesauce. For the 8 lbs of Paula Red apples I made for this batch I used:
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice + part of the rind of a lemon
2 teaspoons of cinnamon + 1 cinnamon stick
5) Cook. Put your prepared apples, sugars, cinnamon, cinnamon stick, lemon juice, and lemon peel in a large, heavy pot. In addition to other ingredients, add a liquid such as water or apple cider (I usuallly use water). I used about 1 cup of water for 8 pounds of apples. Mix ingredients and bring liquid to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover pot, stirring occaisonally, until apples have broken down into desired texture. This is where having a sauce apple versus a pie or eating apple will make a difference. A sauce apple will cook down much faster. It probably took a half an hour to cook the Paula Reds pictured here.
6) Store. Eat right away, serve warm over ice cream, add it to your oatmeal, freeze, or can! Enjoy the tast of fall all year round!