Today I tweeted about making applesauce and Monina asked if it was difficult. Before I could respond my friend Michelle tweeted her family applesauce recipe. Which, of course, is different from mine. I love seeing how other people make the same product – so much family history! Michelle’s 95-years-young grandfather is the chief applesauce maker in her family. My paternal grandmother was the applesauce maker in mine.
Everyone loved Thelma’s pink applesauce. Her secret was to leave the skins on – something only a few people do. It adds color, flavor and body to the sauce.
A few years ago, about 3 years after Grandma passed away, my mom asked me to take over the applesauce duties for our big family dinners. My aunt even bought me a food mill so I could be authentic.
This applesauce is sweet, but you can adjust to your taste. It’s also very easy. I suggest making a big batch and freezing some…that is if you have any left. My dad could eat this everyday. When I make applesauce I use a full peck of apples – I just make it in two batches – and throw a few jars in the freezer. A huge bowl of this will be going to Thanksgiving dinner with us next week.
Grandma G’s Applesauce
1/2 peck (give or take) apples, mixed varieties.
You want a mixture of sweet apples like macintosh and melrose. Get the “drops” or “seconds” if you can to save money. I got a peck of seconds at the farmer’s market for $2 last weekend.
Splash water or cider
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c brown sugar
Cut all the spots and bruises off the apples. Slice (I use an apple slicer) and throw into your biggest pot.
Throw the cinnamon and sugar over the top. If you’re like me and over-filled the pot and can’t stir it without making a mess, no worries. Just stir it later as the apples break down. If your apples aren’t very juicy you can add a splash of water, apple juice or cider. I usually wait to see what kind of moisture the apples give up and add this later if needed. The liquid just makes steam to soften the apples.
Cover and cook over low to medium low about an hour or until the apples are very tender and start to fall apart when you stir them. Stir when you remember. Cool the apples until you can handle them.
Spoon the soft apples into a food mill, blender* or the grinder attachment on a mixer and process. This is a great job for kitchen helpers.
(this photo is from last October – she’s grown so much!)
Store covered in fridge for about 2 weeks. Or pour into jars and freeze. If you’re cheap like me, recycle your pickle jars for freezing. It will keep in the freezer at least a year.
*if you use a blender I would peel half of the apples before cooking since the food mill or grinder will leave some of the skin behind.