Thursday, December 07, 2006

Making Applesauce

I can't believe it's been over a week since I updated my blog. I feel like I've been busy yet I don't recall anything blogworthy happening recently. I did make some applesauce a couple of weeks ago, when I took pictures of the apple peeler slicer corer gizmo. Applesauce is embarrassingly easy to make and tastes lots better than store-bought if you make it yourself.First, get all set up. I have a great big monster 12 quart stock pot that I put the apples in. I don't bother treating them to preserve the color because I don't care if my applesauce is pristine white or not. I do treat apples I'm going to dehydrate or use in pies. I put a towel down because this is sticky work. I have an empty ice cream bucket for scraps. Usually I have two: one for cores and one for peels. The cores go to the chickens and the peels to the rabbits. I have a paring knife for trimming errant skin, bad spots, and off-center cores. I have the peeler slicer corer gizmo. And I have optimistically prepared myself a cup of coffee. I know that my hands will be all juicy slimy yet I persist in the naive optimistic notion that I could enjoy a hot sip of coffee from time to time. The cup is cold by my third sip, if I manage to take that many, and it's covered in sticky drying juice goo. Yet next time I sit down to do something with apples, I'll make myself another cup. Go figure.

Cut the apples up and dump them in the pot. You don't have to peel and core them if you're going to put them though a food mill later, because the food mill will remove the seeds and skins. I peel and core anyway, because it makes the food mill work go so much faster. Plus the gizmo is fun to use.

Put enough water in the pot to keep the apples from sticking. For me, that's about 1/4" on the bottom of the pot. The apples will make lots of juice as they get hot so you only need a little bit to get things started. Cook until soft.
Put them through a foley mill or food processor. The foley mill will make it nice and smooth and remove stray bits of skin and seeds that managed to escape your scrutiny earlier. You can also whir them in a food processor but that won't remove the unwanted bits, and it's harder to control the consistency. I tried it once before I had my foley mill and I had lumpy sauce or baby food.
Cook the applesauce a bit if it's too runny. Add sugar to taste. You might add as much as 1/4 cup per pound of apples if they're tart. I used golden delicious and didn't add ANY sugar. We did so many test tastes that we weren't hungry for dinner.

If you want to can the applesauce, process pints and quarts 20 minutes in a boiling water bath; canning under pressure is not necessary.

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