Apples are one of my favorite things about fall. I love apple anything! One of our family favorites is homemade applesauce. I love to have some stockpiled in our freezer for the winter. I searched and searched for apple orchards over here in Germany, but I couldn’t find any that were reasonably close. Germans just plant their own apple trees in their yards. I see apple and pear trees in many yards over here. We really lucked out this week when a German neighbor was willing to share apples from her yard. She said that she had picked all that she wanted and had already done all of her baking. We were welcome to come and get the apples that were left whenever we wanted. AWESOME!!! I’m not going to turn down free apples! I have made applesauce before, but this time I decided to use a new kitchen gadget to see which preparation method I prefer.
The first kitchen tool I used for the recipe is not a need. It was a want. lol I decided to purchase a food mill at our local home store. It was pretty inexpensive and I think I will get good use out of it. A food mill allows you too just cut up your apples and cook them with peels on. The food mill separates apple peel and seeds and stems when you are done cooking.
In the past, I have always peeled all of my apples and then cut them up to make applesauce. You can totally make your applesauce this way. However, the apples that were given to me were smaller in size and I didn’t feel like peeling a lot of apples. Here is a similar food mill that I found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/RSVP-Endurance-Classic-Rotary-Stainless/dp/B000F7JXM4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1443433438&sr=8-5&keywords=food+mill
The next kitchen tool is one that I highly recommend if you do a lot of freezer cooking. It’s called the Baggie Rack. It seems like such a silly gadget, but it really does help you keep everything nice and neat while you are preparing your food. It also frees up your hands. I use it when I fill my baggies with the finished applesauce product. http://www.amazon.com/Jokari-Hands-Free-Baggy-Storage-Holder/dp/B0040LU3Y8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443433480&sr=8-1&keywords=baggie+holder
Let’s cook! Your house will smell so awesome while you are making homemade applesauce. Mmmm!!!
First up, rinse your apples well. If you don’t have a food mill, you would want to peel and core your apples now. When you are finished, cut your apples up into quarters or eighths. This is so easy.
Add your apples to a big stock pot. I didn’t count, but I think 16-18 apples would be perfect for a 6 quart stockpot. I had to play around with my sweetener amount to get the right balance. Some people like their applesauce really sweet and others use no sweetener at all. Feel free to adjust to your family’s taste or dietary needs. For my family, the ratio that I use is:
16-18 small to medium apples
1 cup of sugar
3 cups of water
Add all of the ingredients to your stock pot. Cover the pot and turn the stove to medium to medium high. Bring to a rapid boil and allow the apples to cook for 15-20 minutes. You know the apples are ready when they easily smash with a spoon. If you already peel and cored your apples, you would now mash them with a spoon or a potato masher.
Now it’s time for my food mill. I put a couple of scoops in at a time and turned the handle. The first picture is at the beginning and the second picture shows how the peels and everything else separates. At the end of this post, I’ll show you what I did with my leftover apple peels. My friend had a genius suggestion!
You are left with a big bowl of yummy applesauce! This picture was my first batch and I used less water in it. I upped the water to 3 cups to get the consistency that I wanted. Adjust the water to the way you like your applesauce.
Write the date and contents on your ziplock bag. You don’t want to have to figure out how long something has been sitting in your freezer. Fill up your baggies with your applesauce and then stick them in the freezer. I prefer to use quart size freezer bags for applesauce. It’s the perfect size for our family. I did use a gallon size in this picture because I ran out of quart. 🙂 We have 10 quart size bags so far and I still have more apples to use. I need to get busy!!!
Ok. I collected all the peels from my food mill after I was done separating the applesauce. I put the peels in a pan and filled it with water. I added some sugar ( probably 1/4 cup) and I sprinkled cinnamon and allspice over the top. I stirred everything together and simmered the mixture (bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low) on the stove for about 3 hours. After 3 hours, I poured everything into a fine mesh strainer. The leftover result was apple cider! It was so delicious! I think it made 4 – 5 cups worth. I was thankful for the tip.
I don’t think I will be able to make my husband’s favorite version of applesauce this year. He likes me to add red hot candies to my applesauce while it is boiling on the stove. It gives it a fabulous cinnamon flavor and you don’t have to add as much sugar. However, I can’t find red hot candies in Germany. Have you ever tried applesauce with red hots? My Mom made applesauce that way many times.
Do you do anything different when you make applesauce? Share your recipes with us! Time to make some more applesauce and maybe even an apple crisp! Happy cooking! Enjoy 🙂