Foodie In Training

Monday, October 20, 2008

Homemade Applesauce

Growing up I LOVED applesauce. Especially the way my mom prepared it, which is how she had it growing up, which is also how my grandma had it growing up.  We had applesauce a lot for dinner because my and my sister liked it so much (my sister was/still is a picky eater).  We called it "special" applesauce and the reason it was special is my mom added vanilla extract to the jar of Mott's.    It is so good...and whenever I have special applesauce it reminds me of my childhood.  It also reminds my mom of her childhood, my grandma used to make it that way for her and my grandma's mom would make it that way for her!   I love special recipes such as these that are passed down and loved by generations.  So, for my grandma's birthday last week I decided to make her homemade applesauce.  I've never made applesauce before but after doing some research, it didn't seem to hard, and apples are so good right now!! 

I went to Sandusky's local farm stand, Mulvin's and asked Mrs. Mulvin how she makes her applesauce and what kind of apples she recommends.  She recommended the Macintosh apples and she advised only using one type so you get the pure taste of the apple instead of a mixture.  Mrs. Mulvin and her husband have been farmers for their whole lives so I took her advice and bought about 15 gorgeous Macintosh apples to make my applesauce.  

It turns out, making applesauce is super easy.. you basically peel all the apples (I used a paring knife and Ryan used a carrot peeler), core and cut all the apples and put them in a large sauce pan.  I added about a 1/4 cup of sugar and about 1 1/2  cups of water, a pinch of salt and 3 lemon rinds (I read it brings out the flavor of the apples) to the pot and let the apples cook on medium/high heat.  The apples cooked for about 15-20 minutes while I stirred them occasionally.  Once it seems the apples were soft, I took a large slotted spoon and smashed the apple slices against the side of the pan to make it saucier but still a bit chunky (the way my grandma  prefers it).  In a lot of recipes it said to use a food mill or a food processor, but I found my slotted spoon method to be very effective and I didn't have to dirty another dish.  The applesauce turned out awesome! It was very simple and clean-tasting, it wasn't super sweet and you could really just taste the sweet/slightly tart flavor of the Macintosh apples.  Eating warm applesauce is also a treat! It would be perfect spooned over a scoop of vanilla ice cream..

My only goof was I forgot the vanilla!  I've always seen the vanilla added at the end once the applesauce was already prepared (after we poured it out of the Mott's jar) so I didn't know to put the vanilla in during the cooking process...Duh!   In the end I decided to leave out the vanilla and it still got glowing reviews from my family and the birthday girl.  :)

The next batch a make I'm going to use the vanilla.  

Apples are in season right now so it's a great way to try new apple recipes and new apple types. 
I'm currently OBSESSED with Honeycrisp apples.  They are similar to a Fuji in that they are tart and sweet and they are always really crunchy.  I seriously am eating at least 2 a day, sometimes 3.  They are so good.   What is your favorite kind of apple?

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