Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Apple Invasion: Applesauce

Yesterday I mentioned that Dan and I went to the Gravenstein Apple Fair over the weekend. Just like last year, Dan and I picked up a box of apples from Walker Apples - a 40 pound box! It sounds like a lot of apples, but once I am done processing them into all their different components, I wonder if a 40 pound box is enough. I am sure once we have a family, we will be a two or three box purchaser at the fair. As it stands, I am already a good fourth of the way through the box.

Yesterday I made applesauce. I am not quite sure if I would ever buy applesauce again once we started making our own. My mother made ours when we were kids, and I always liked it much better than store bought. This applesauce is also so sweet due to the natural sugars in the Gravenstein apple that I added only a half cup of sugar to the entire pot of apple sauce. I also saved all the peel and core scraps from making it up, so I can make my own pectin and apple syrup experiments. I hope that they turn out as well as the apple sauce did this year.

All I do for my applesauce is I peel, core, and rough chop up the apples and place them into a pot. I then add a bit of pure apple juice if I have it otherwise I add a little water. I adjust the sugar I add depending on the sweetness of the apples, and then I let it cook away over low heat. As it cooks, I periodically stir it up and mash some of the big chunks down. Dan and I like chunky applesauce, so I do not use a food mill. If you love a smooth applesauce, you can skip the skinning and coring and just rough chop your apples and run it through a food mill once it is done cooking. If you like spiced applesauce, you can add cinnamon or cloves or whatever you like to the mix. Since some people don't like spices, I tend to can mine with out the spices and add it later when I serve it up. This way everyone can have their sauce exactly as they like it.

This batch ended up being three quarts and a pint in size. I am told this is simply not enough sauce for the year, so I may be making another batch up this week if there are enough apples after all the other projects are made. Currently I have some of the apples in a jelly bag juicing for apple jelly. Pictures and a synopsis of the progress on that tomorrow. I am also going to take the apple pulp from the jelly and make it into apple butter. I am trying to make as little waste of things as I can this year. I have always been a "waste not want not" kind of person. This year I am hoping to be way more efficient at this than last year. I threw out skins and cores last year. This year, nothing will be wasted if I can help it. For now, I just wished I had a bigger freezer to hold all the apple scraps. I am starting to run out of room!

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