Homemade Applesauce….and all necessary equipment

By September 24, 2012Recipes

I admit I have a love of cooking.  (I think it’s genetic, there are many great cooks in my gene pool.)  I cook because I enjoy it.  I cook because it saves money.  I cook because I can control, to some extent what goes into my body.  (and my family’s too..)  I try to cook at least 5 nights a week.  (I don’t usually get away with leftovers unless it’s spaghetti or soup.  My family is sooo demanding.)  Because of all this cooking, my kitchen takes a beating.  My kitchen floors are always sticky, my oven cook top is not pretty, my dishwasher is always full of dirty dishes, and my pots and pans are lacking luster.  I had begun to think about replacing my worn out pots and pans, when, on my weekly jaunt to Johnnies, I spied a sparkly new set of cookware.  A Deluxe 7 piece set of stainless steel cookware.  The set included a 1 quart, 2.75 quart a (6.75 quart) stockpot and a 9 1/2 inch fry pan……and 3 lids of varying sizes.

I tried to resist, but somehow they found their way into my cart.

Like a child with a new toy, I needed a a project to thoroughly test out this new cookware.  I’d been wanting to try my hand at making homemade applesauce.  The organic applesauce at the store is quite expensive, and my kids love it and eat it very quickly.  It seemed a no-brainer to D.I.M.  (do it myself)

I found a couple of recipes online and combined a few for my first try.  The variety of apples that you use is probably the most important factor.  And, hello….we basically live in Appletown USA.  (The National Apple Musuem is 28.2 miles away from where I sit right now in Biglerville, for goodness sakes.)  We’re surrounded by acres of the nation’s best apple orchards.  You can find an abundance of varieties: Pink Lady, Jonathon and/or Fuji, just to name a few.  It depends on the timing, some varieties mature sooner than others.  For my first attempt, I tried Cortland Apples.  I bought a 1/2 peck bag at a local road side stand and raced home to begin the experiment.

I like this particular style of making applesauce.  A lazy woman’s applesauce, no peeling involved.  Some wise woman once told me the flavor was in the skin.  So, I left the skin on.  It just so happens that I had also purchased a food mill a few months back.  Thus, I had another new toy that wanted in on the action.  A food mill is not necessary for making applesauce.  However, it made the job sooo much quicker and easier.  Too easy?

First, thoroughly wash your apples and cut into big chunks, cut straight down around the core. Throw away the cores.  Place cut apples in a large pot with about 2 cups of water. (The water doesn’t completely cover the apples.  I added enough to cover the bottom of the pan.)  I used the 9.75 quart stock pot.  Cover the pot, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the apples are very tender, about 20 minutes. This will take more or less time depending on the variety of apples you’re using and the number of apples you in your pot.

When the apples are tender, spoon them into your food mill.  It’s best to do this in small amounts.   Start cranking.  The peels will be left behind yielding smooth, sweet applesause.  Made in the USA.  Made in your kitchen, by you.  Because my family loves cinnamon, I added a few tablespoons of ground cinnamon to the finished product.  I used a peck of apples, about 5 lbs.  The “recipe” yielded 2 1/2 quarts of sauce.  What we didn’t eat in a few days, I put in the freezer.  Applesauce will last up to a year in the freezer.  But, I don’t expect to have any left until then.

So far, the critics have given the finished product a thumbs up!

I didn’t use any sugar in my recipe.  But, next time I might try adding a few tablespoons.  Again, the variety of apple that you choose will play a big part in the sweetness of your applesauce.  Sugar can be added to the apples during the cooking process.

My stockpot weathered the applesauce very well and cleaned up with little to no elbow grease.  I have since used the fry pan to brown ground beef and make grilled cheese.  So far, so good.  Because the pot bottoms are aluminum, they are supposed to heat quickly and more evenly.  And because the rest of the surface is stainless steel, they shouldn’t pit, color or transfer flavor.

You can find both the awesome Deluxe 7 piece set of pots and pans and the stainless steel food mill at Johnnies.

Don’t forget to print the What’s for Dinner coupon.  Follow the link located just above this post.  (It will save you $5.00 on any $25.00 or more purchase!)  But hurry, the coupon expires at the end of September.

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