This is starting to look familiar – a pile of fruit, a giant pot, and hours later a thick sauce of smooth, tart beauty. I’m getting good at this game. This time – it’s applesauce.
My mom made applesauce when we were little.
No peeling – well except for that one year when we got out the hand-cranked apple peeler and whatchamacallit and had a go at it. We quickly abandoned that machine as you had to stop and fix it as often as you turned the crank.
Thanks to the food mill there’s no mashing and thanks to the flavorful apples, no unnecessary ingredients.
As a little girl, my family and I would go blueberry picking in the summer to stock the freezer with “beeble-berries,” as Momma called them. After the summer ended, we’d pull them out for blueberry pancakes, blueberry sauce for pancakes, or our favorite semi-dessert: a personal bowl of frozen blueberries sprinkled with sugar and doused in milk. After a few minutes of sitting, it became like blueberry ice cream as the sugar and milk froze in the crevices between the berries. It wasn’t exactly dessert, but it kept me fooled for a while.
In the fall there were apples. I don’t remember many apple picking outings with my family, but we must have gone once or twice or bought bags at the store. However we acquired our apples, Mom would make gallons of applesauce and, just the same as the blueberries, put some in the freezer for later. You knew it was homemade from its rose-colored tint, dyed from leaving the red skins on as it cooked. Then when it was done, we ground it through the food mill so it came out smooth and pure and apple-skinless.
So I made applesauce this weekend, just like Momma made it. I cut up my apples, skins on, and simmered them on the stove until they melted and perfumed the apartment with the glorious smell of autumn’s coziest scent. The apples cooked down to half the height of the pot, but we still ended up with a giant bowl of applesauce. No fear – Sam the applesauce-eating maniac is here to eat it up in no time (and consequently I won’t have any to freeze like Mom did).
Speaking of Sam, he has taken to making me dinner a few nights a week now that I started cooking for this family (more on that later). This past week he made a wonderful Moroccan Chicken and the week before that a tofu stir-fry! It’s hard giving up my kitchen sometimes, but I love when he cooks for me! Below is a picture of the Moroccan chicken with butternut squash, dried apricots, and wild rice.
There is no real recipe for this. I take some apples, core them, and slice them about ¼ inch thick. I put them in a big stockpot and add enough water to cover the bottom by an inch or two (depending how thick you like it). I bring it to a boil and then turn it down to simmer with a lid on until the apples are falling apart, stirring often near the beginning to be sure all the apples are getting an even amount of heat. Add sugar if you like (I didn’t) or cinnamon (either during the cooking or at the end).
When soft, run it through a food mill and let cool.
If you don’t have a food mill, you can peel the apples ahead of time and use an immersion blender or food processor, being sure to puree in small batches. Freeze in gallon size freezer bags or enjoy right away. Be sure to try a bite when it’s warm – it’s delicious!
Oh and if you’re wondering how many apples we have left from our original 35 ish pounds, here it is. I weighed them.
Apple count – About 12 lbs.