Make your own applesauce

Apples are in great abundance during the fall harvest. I like to buy apples to make pie, cobbler, or applesauce. I will provide you instructions on how to make applesauce. Use any type of apple to make applesauce, but the best applesauce is made from soft apples like Cortland, Fuji, Gala, Pippin, or McIntosh. One medium apple (2 1/2 inches in diameter) yields about 1 cup of slices. Three medium apples weigh about one pound. Three pounds of apples yield about one quart of applesauce. 

NEED:

3 pounds of apples, rinsed
1 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 
Step 1
 
Processing applesauce requires mashing the apples or running the apples through a food mill or food processor. You can peel the apples no matter what processing method you choose. However, if processing the apples with a potato masher, then you need to peel the apples. Leaving the peels on when processing the apples through a food mill or processor creates applesauce high in fiber with flecks of color.
 
Step 2

 
Core the apples. Using a coring device is a fast method to core and slice the apples. If you do not have a coring device, cut the apple in quarters from the top to the bottom, cut the seed portion from each slice, and then cut those four slices in half. You will have eight slices.  

Step 3
 
Place the slices into a pot along with 1 cup of water, 2/3 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Bring the uncovered pot to a boil on a medium high temperature setting, stirring occasionally. It may take around five minutes to come to a boil. The kitchen is filled with a cinnamon aroma.
 
Step 4
 
Once the pot starts to boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Stir ever five minutes. Check the softness of the apples after 20 minutes by pressing a slice against the inside of the pot using the back of a fork. If you can mash the apple slice with the fork, the apples are ready for the next step. If you cannot mash an apple slice, then continue to simmer until the apples are sufficiently soft to mash.
 
Step 5
Manual tools: potato masher and food mill
You can use a potato masher to mash the apples or you can place the cooked apples into a food processor or food mill to process the apples to a consistency as smooth as you want. I used a food mill placed on a large, 8-cup measuring bowl to capture the sauce as it passed through the sieve of the mill.
 

Step 6
 
Add more sugar if desired and serve warm or chilled. Keep in a sealed container in the refrigerate for up to one week, or freeze.

By Barbara Raskauskas