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Recipe: It’s Applesauce Season

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Right now is the perfect time to head to a farmer’s market or orchard and buy lots and lots of apples. Sure, you can make pie with them, but applesauce is healthier, easier to freeze, and yummiful. Plus, it’s really easy to make. My kids love it. I love it, too—especially with plain Greek yogurt and a bit of maple syrup!

The best apples for sauce are the ones that are tart, and too mangled to make good regular eating. Once, Eve and I found an old apple tree on our property from which we got a giant basket of the ugliest apples you ever saw—but it made the best sauce!

Applesauce is easy to make, and the flavor beats anything you can get at the store.

Applesauce is easy to make yourself, and the flavor beats anything you can get at the store.

Here is my recipe for applesauce:
Maria’s Applesauce

Ingredients:

4 cups water
24 (or so) apples
Juice of ½ lemon
6 whole cloves
2 sticks cinnamon
½ cup sugar (optional)

Directions:

1. Put about 2 inches of water in the bottom of a saucepan (4 cups or so). Put the pan on the stovetop and turn the burner on low.
2. Peel the apples, cut them into pieces, and add them to the water. Make sure to cut out any bad spots!
3. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the mix to stop the apples from turning brown.
4. Add the cloves and cinnamon.
5. Cook on medium to low heat until the apples turn to mush—maybe a half hour to an hour.
6. Taste. If it’s too tart, add sugar.
7. Pick out the cloves and cinnamon, and serve!

If you want to freeze it, put the applesauce in a container and stick it in the freezer. It tastes just as great when you thaw it.

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12 Responses to Recipe: It’s Applesauce Season

  1. Just Me October 2, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    Why take the time to peel the apples? I just quarter them, take out the core and the bad spots, cook them down and then run it through my siv strainer using my mallot. Taking the pealings off is way to time consuming and you are losing alot of vitamins in my opionion. The only difference is your apple sauce is a pink to red color… Taste great

  2. Donna in DE October 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    You bet! Nothing in the grocery store beats homemade applesauce! I’m definitely ready to make some. I can taste it now. I even eat it warm. If you want a nice pink applesauce, do exactly what JUST ME said, delicious! Good on potato pancakes too, also called latkes. Ummmmmmmmmm………

  3. Donna October 2, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    I agree about the applesauce. Last week my sister gave pears and I made “pear”sauce. Just as good with just a little different twist. I

  4. Jamie October 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    My son is in kindergarten and his class made applesauce in a crock pot. He came home telling me all about it and how “yummy” it was! I’m going to try the recipe above in the crock pot on low and I’m sure it will work.

  5. Dale R October 4, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    My wife uses a Foley food mill to get rid of the skins – no need to peel. This year I convinced her to make that applesauce into apple butter. I can’t wait to put it on the cottage cheese. My wife also makes a cranberry-applesauce that is just great. You’re right about the ugly apples. When my mother-in-law still had her home she had an apple tree that produced lots of not-so-nice looking apples, but combined with MacIntosh made a great applesauce.

  6. Hillary October 5, 2009 at 10:34 am #

    I made applesauce with what was left of my haul from the Rodale Institute farm’s apple trees just yesterday morning. I had no idea how easy it was to make it. I didn’t peel them, I used my food processor to puree it after cooking it down. My older son, who is nine, has sensory issues and immediately gagged from the sensation of the bits of peel, but I think it’s delicious and a gorgeous pink color!

  7. Dawn P October 5, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Making applesauce is what I’ve been doing for years in the fall with my grandchildren. I go to the orchard and get a mixed basket of windfall apples. Not the prettiest, but they make a tasty sauce. As soon as the grandkids are old enough to turn the Foley food mill ,they learn to make applesauce with Grandma.We have even experimented and used food coloring to make some funky- colored sauce. They love it. Once it cools I ladle it into one quart freezer bags.lay them flat on a cookie sheet, and pop into the freezer. Once frozen they stack neatly on a freezer shelf, thaw quickly and are a great side dish with pork, on cottage cheese, or warm for dessert with whipped cream! No matter how old the kids get, making applesauce is still eagerly anticipated each fall.

  8. Sheldon October 5, 2009 at 12:43 pm #

    We love using Mac’s. We use an apple-peeler-corer and throw the wedges in the pot. Cook down without any additions and bag and freeze. The crock pot idea is also worth a try.

  9. Marsha October 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm #

    I keep it simple. Make four cuts around the apple, leaving the core. then the quarters go into a heavy pan with, maybe, a tiny bit of water to get it started. I cook it till they’re soft and mushy, then zap through the food processor. I taste it, but most of the time it doesn’t need a thing, not sugar or cinnamon, before it goes in the freezer in one-cup containers. And by the way, if you add some horseradish when you defrost it, you’ve got a great accompaniment to beef.

  10. Gracie Davis October 21, 2009 at 5:23 am #

    I got this e -mail and they were a recipe for apple sauce attached to it
    i ran it off . and im going to try it. and i would like to sign up for e-mail from you.

    davisgracie@yahoo.com

  11. Janet October 22, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    If you are making the applesauce in the crockpot you need much less water. I’d say a half a cup.

  12. Bren August 15, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    I don’t peel my apples, as the nutrition is in the peelings I simply core them, cut them with a apple slicer and add apple juice (from which I have juiced a few that have been cored, adding the pulp and peelings to the pot afterwards). I add sugar to taste and cook them down, sometimes in a pot on the stove, other times in a crock pot or pressure cooker.

    At the end I add fresh ground nutmeg and vanilla or other spices, to include melted caramel to make different tastes. They can also be cooked in other juices, such as pineapple juice for variety. It is fun to play around with the flavors.

    At the end I take a hand puree and puree them in the pot (a food processor would work too, when they are cooled somewhat). I Can them in a water bath for 15 minutes, eat some and give some away as gifts throughout the year.

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