Autumn . . . one associates the season with apples, pumpkins, gourds and winter squash.
People decorate their entryways with corn stalks and jack-o-lanterns.
It is also the time of year to take your kids to the local orchard to pick a few apples or to the neighboring farm to pick out the perfect carving pumpkin.
Or perhaps you are like me and don’t have children, so you just stop by a local roadside stand or your local farmer’s market to purchase a few apples and pumpkins.
Either way, take advantage of the season to preserve the fresh flavors of apples by making applesauce to use in your baking, serve as dessert or as a fresh fruit replacement when winter comes and other fruit looks and tastes like it was shipped 1,000’s of miles from your home.
You can easily turn a few apples into delicious applesauce in less than an hour like I did recently.
Last weekend, Dan and I had a few guests over for dinner. Since it was an impromptu gathering I didn’t have ingredients or the time to make a dessert. Then I remembered the apples I purchased at the market the prior day. While I was cooking dinner I sliced up a few apples to make a small batch of applesauce. I served the still slightly warm, pink colored applesauce as dessert with a little bit of ground cinnamon. Everyone loved it!
I like to use a blend of McIntosh and Cortland apples to make applesauce. These varieties deliver a great tasting sauce with a pale pink color that makes the sauce visually appealing too. You can certainly use any other blend of apples, but it may take longer to cook down the apples and the color may be yellow like store-bought applesauce.
Oh, and don’t forget to save a little money by purchasing apple seconds if seconds are available. Apple seconds are perfect for sauce making since the sauce is about the taste and not the appearance of the actual fruit.
So, whether you are looking for a quick dessert or want to preserve a few pints to use throughout the year, make applesauce with some of the fresh, fall apples this year!
- 12 pounds or about 25 tart cooking apples (I use a blend of McIntosh and Cortland Apples)
- 12 ounces of water
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice
- Wash the apples. Remove the apple stems and blossom ends from the apples. You do not need to peel the apples or remove the core, but you should cut away any spots on the apple.
- Cut each apple into quarters and then cut each quarter in half again. Place the cut up apples in a non-reactive pot.
- Pour 12 ounces of water in the pot. Make sure the water covers the bottom of the pot. Water helps to prevent the apples from sticking to the pot.
- Pour 1/4 cup of lemon juice over the apples.
- Cook the apples over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until the apples are soft and easily smashed.
- Process softened apples through a food mill to make applesauce.
- Using a dipper, scoop applesauce into freezer safe containers to use later. I like to use Ball’s Plastic Freezer Containers.
This recipe is also safe for water bath canning, but I like to freeze my applesauce because of the simplicity of using freezer jars.