Good Old Fashioned Applesauce!

ladder

As with all the most delicious concoctions we make in the kitchen the fresher the ingredients, the better the outcome will be. That ladder and tree are in my back garden, so you can well imagine these apples are fresh–and organic! Sure there’s a moth or two in there, but for some blessed reason those moths dig into the center of the apple when they choose to inhabit, which is very handy for a cook with a good paring knife. Yep. A bug here or there may not sound appealing but upon consideration, and the knowledge that commercial apples can be sprayed up to 26 times in a season, well, it’s a small price to pay.

appletree

So up the ladder I went, collecting these wonderful apples from my kitchen garden. This (very old) tree was professionally pruned last year so it’s expressing its gratitude with an abundance of very much appreciated fruit. Now, what to do?

apples

Honestly? The first thing I did was what I’ve done in years past. I pulled my dehydrator out of the shed and dutifully prepared and cut up apple pieces, just the right size, and placed them first on one and then on two trays. And then you know what? I plum ran out of steam. I accepted this, turned on the dehydrator and let it run all day long over the Memorial Day weekend, thinking surely I would get back to more another day. And here’s what I got out of that adventure.

jar

Are they delicious? You bet! But did I want to do it again? I did not. Part of that decision was based on the realization that even though they were dehydrated they still needed to be stored. And although I’d considered “putting them in the freezer” once I was actually experiencing how long it took to get them dry, I knew I didn’t want to store them somewhere they’d be absorbing moisture. I concluded that the best way to store dried apples was by using a heat sealer. And I was not equipped to do that in that moment. So. What to do? Applesauce. Delicious, easy, could be done in smaller batches and could be frozen. Perfect. So I did that.

pan

So easy. Quartered and peeled the apples. Pared off any offending intruder. I’d picked them off the tree directly, so no bruises to deal with. Popped them in my big pan, with a little water to get them going. And then I cooked them not until they fell apart, but until they were soft. Then I transferred them to my Cuisinart, where I carefully judged just how much I wanted them pureed. I wanted to maintain a bit of texture without their being chunky. Then I added a bit of lemon juice and a tiny bit of cinnamon and a very small amount of sugar. I have to remind myself I’m adding sugar to a sweet fruit, so it’s important to be conservative. And that’s it!

applesauce

I’ve made about four batches so far. Most went into the freezer in freezer bags. I will pull out as needed for a side dish, as an ingredient in applesauce cake or perhaps pancakes! I’m also going to make up a batch which I will also freeze to add to my dogs’ breakfast on occasion. They love these apples, I’m happy to say! And they will appreciate a bit of apple this winter.

What is your favorite thing to do with applesauce? Now is the time. Autumn harvesting of apples is upon us, a mighty blessing to be taken advantage of for a happier, healthier, more delicious winter!

Love and kitchen blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

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10 Responses to “Good Old Fashioned Applesauce!”

  1. I love Baked Apples even better than Applesauce and i am wondering why they can’t be frozen, for Winter enjoyment.

    I core the apples and stuff the cavity left from coring with raisins, dried Cranberries and cinnamon.
    The good thing about baked Apples is, you eat the skin.
    (I have always heard that the substance just under the skin is the healthiest part of an apple and as you peel it, you lose that.!!!! )

    Wish i had an Apple tree. LOve, Betsy

  2. Betsy, baked apples is a wonderful idea! It’s been quite awhile since I’ve made any. I love what you use to put in the center! Had not thought of dried cranberries! Love, Kathryn xoxo

  3. Well done, mom! Lovely thing to be doing as the seasons shift, and a great use for the abundance of organic apples with which you’ve been blessed! Lovely pics too, as always!

    Xoxo
    Antonia

  4. Thanks, Antonia! Yes, I am enjoying it. Now I’m going to look up a recipe for apple streudel and see how hard that might be! 🙂 Love, Mom xoxo

  5. Apples, apples, apples. Think of all our Hall and Matthewson northern Illinois forefathers and mothers breeding, grafting and selling all those apple trees in the northern Midwest a hundred years ago. My great grandfather bet my great grandmother who was very proud of being able to peel an apple without breaking the peel, that he would buy her a piece of fabric as long as she could cut an unbroken peel. Family legend doesn’t say how long but it was enough to make her a dress and this was well before the flapper era and fabrics were typically only 36 inches wide so it must have been pretty long. The last apple trees that my great grandfather grafted are now all dead but they lasted almost 100 years. Any idea what variety your tree is? Enjoy the “fruits” of your labor. Hugs

  6. Hi, Julie, Love your family apple stories! Amazing that you know the history of your ggrandfather’s apple trees, and how sad they are all gone now. I asked one of the local old timers about these apples, as she has 250 acres and one of her primary crops is apples. She said it’s an “original delicious apple”, I guess meaning before anyone messed with delicious apples. (Did they? Probably.) I’ve since spent more time with them and am not so sure. They are sweet with a little bit of tartness. Very nice texture. My fave. Crisp. Maybe I will take to the farmer’s market and see if this apple guy who (I think) only comes out to civilization when his many apple trees are offering mature apples, and see what he says. 😉 Love, Kathryn xoxo

  7. Loved reading about your ritual of picking , drying, cooking and pureeing. Cannot recall doing anything very creative with applesauce except add Spoonfuls on top of plain yogurt and drizzling with lots of honey,,,,,,here come Avis and Alison, my mom/daughter VEGAN friends! They say applesauce is used as an egg substitute in zucchini bread and carrot cake. Hmm, surprized? Avis’ Boston-born mom, Elenoretta, combined applesauce plus raw apples sliced in her Yankee pies? Surprize! Avis never peels her apples for sauce…the skins add a lot of fiber and appealing pinkish color to the sauce. Happy apple time, Barbara Stafford
    From Cape Cod, with love

  8. Hi, Barbara! I had not heard of using applesauce as an egg substitute, but I can see it! In any case applesauce in zucchini bread and carrot cake sounds delicious! Applesauce in pies makes sense, too! Lovely to hear from you in Cape Cod! Love, Kathryn xoxo

  9. Apple Strudel is easy as can be! I have been making it for years using the Filo Dough that comes in a long package.’ The only thing bad about Strudel is……it takes a lot of butter.
    Each sheet of dough is softened with brushed on melted butter.and then piled one on top of another
    When you roll the sliced apples in the three layers of dough, you add cinnamon, raisins or cranberries . Then brush the top with the melted butter too.
    Roll wrapped dough onto a greased cookie sheet, seam side down and tuck in the ends so the juice doesn’t drip out. Recipe should be on the box

  10. Betsy! Thank you! I had looked up the recipe in Joy of Cooking and as soon as they said, “Line a large table with a sheet” I knew I was in for a challenging task! LOL! I was wondering if I might “cheat” and go buy some filo dough! I might give the Joy of Cooking one good shot, just to see if I CAN, but it sounds like something one must really research and practice to master. So many recipes, so little time. 😉 Your idea is much more practical, and probably delicious! Love, Kathryn xoxo

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