I was craving homemade applesauce the other day and I wanted to run to the farmers market to get apples. However, we were in the middle of making French Onion Soup (you can find the recipe here). If you've ever made it, you know that if you have plans to do anything or go anywhere, you better allow enough time to shower or you will smell like a big, stinky, stanky, gigantic armpit that hasn't been bathed in months! Oh you think I'm kidding? You just try it! You will smell like onions, your clothes will smell like onions, your undergarments will smell like onions, kids, dogs and basically anything else with hair or fiber in the vicinity will also smell like onions. It's well worth it, but my whole point is that if you are trying to get to the farmers market to get apples, it just isn't going to happen people! The next best thing was the apple orchard, but we live in an area where we have to drive 30 minutes (each way) to get to an orchard. The one closest to us was having a fall festival kick off and I didn't really want to fight the crowd to get a bunch of apples, and I honestly didn't feel like wasting the time or gas to get there. I contemplated just going and buying applesauce but lets face it, it's just not as good as homemade. Additionally, I'm a newlywed and as a newlywed, who doesn't like to throw on an apron, try to look all cute and play 1950's house wife by "showing off" your cooking skills and whipping of a batch of....well in my case homemade applesauce! My easiest option (although I admit probably not the cheapest) was to run to my local grocery store and buy apples. I got a variety of three different types, three fuji, three golden delicious and 5 lb bag full of McIntosh apples. I told Brian it would probably make a small batch, just big enough for the two of us (and since I am used to getting a full bushel at the orchard I really had no idea what to expect I would end up with). What it ended up yielding was more than even I had anticipated. We ended up with about 90 ounces or a little over 11 cups. It is delicious and I got two thumbs up from everyone in the family who tried it (even Andy)! The next time I make it I will go to the orchard and I think more than likely I will ask for windfall apples or grade B apples. Sure they won't be as pretty, but as long as I am coming home and making them that day or the next, I think they should be fine and I'm sure much more cost effective. I will also purchase a larger quantity and either can or freeze them so we aren't under pressure to eat quarts and quarts before it goes bad in the fridge. It's really not too hard to make and honestly the biggest pain in the butt is the prepping and peeling of the apples. Many people have fancy peelers, but mine is 5 ft 9 and MUCH better to look at while assisting me in the process! ;) I'll leave you with the recipe, well wishes for a fantastic fall and hopes you enjoy the recipe as much as our family did!
8 lbs of apples (I used a variety of 3 Fuji, 3 Golden Delicious and a 5 lb tote bag of McIntosh.
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 Cup of brown sugar
1 Cup of white sugar (I used half while cooking and reserved the other half cup after all of the apples had been cooked and blended into the applesauce)
1 Cup of water
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of ground cinnamon.
Apples should be prepared by washing, peeling and coring them. Prior to slicing them I added one cup of water and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to the cooking pot I was going to be cooking the apples in. As I sliced them, I tossed them into the water/lemon juice mixture (stirring after adding each apple) to ensure that they wouldn't brown until I had them all sliced. After all 8 lbs were prepped and sliced, I added the brown sugar, a 1/2 cup of the white sugar and the cinnamon. I cooked them on high until they came to a rapid boil and then turned them down to simmer for 45 min. It will look like you have a moderate amount of liquid but do not drain or strain. To make the process easier, I used my Cuisinart Immersion Blender to blend into a smooth sauce (you can either blend or use a masher to achieve the same results). You can always determine the consistency you like best, but Brian and I preferred a smoother type sauce. Once the applesauce was cooled, I added the other 1/2 cup of white sugar. You could also season this to your own taste by adding additional or less sugar and doing the same with cinnamon. Allow the sauce to cool and store in the refrigerator, or if you prefer you also have the option of canning or freezing.