Monday, October 25, 2010

Apples Part 1 - Applesauce

Wow!  Live has been such a whirlwind lately that I just haven't been able to keep up with the blogging.  I'm hoping you all haven't gotten distracted enough to have wandered-off, never to return.  :-)

As promised, today, we're going to talk about a couple of things that I did with the gorgeous basket of apples that Michelle and I brought home from Jaswell's Farm.

One of the easiest things to do with an abundance of apples is to make applesauce.  If you mostly buy commercial applesauce, you're in for a great treat when you make your own and it's incredibly easy.  There are even microwave recipes out there.  Here's how:

Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with as many peeled and chopped apples as you like.  You'll need to leave just enough room to stir them.  Add 1/4-inch of water--just enough to keep the apples from burning.  If you're planning to make chunky sauce and you're hankering for cinnmon-rich sauce, now would be the time to add some sugar and cinnamon to taste.  You can fine-tune it later.

Cook the apples on medium heat until they're soft.

If you want something closer to store-bought, pull out your handy food mill or ricer and puree the apples.  You can also use a food processor, working in batches.

If you didn't add cinnamon and sugar earlier, now is the time to add it (optionally, of course).  Add a half-teaspoon of cinnamon at a time, stir, and taste.

To store, either can it using a reputable canning recipe, refrigerate for a week or two, or freeze it in small containers (8oz or less).

I like to can it in the small 4oz jars so I have a "snack sized" treat to throw into my work lunch bag.  You could do the same using paper cups and toss the frozen cups into a zip-top bag.  Who needs Mott's when you have your own homemade applesauce?

Incidentally, if you'll be using a food mill, which removes seeds and skin, feel free to leave the skin, cores, and seeds in.  After cooking in pureeing, you'll find that your sauce has a gorgeous rosey red hue like this.

Tomorrow, we'll talk Apple Butter...

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