How to Make Applesauce
I live near the lovely Wenatchee Valley in Washington State, the self-proclaimed "Apple Capital" of the world. The commercial and residential areas of the town are surrounding by the leafy green limbs of trees waving gently in the wind. These trees produce succulent cherries, juicy peaches, firm pears, and crisp apples. Every year, around June, the fruit stands begin to open and my tastebuds sing. But we can't have fresh apples year round, so at the end of the season I usually buy a couple of five pound boxes and whip up some delicious apple sauce. I opened a cookbook the first time I tried this, but since then I go mostly by instinct, savoring the opprotunity to experiment. Follow the basic guidelines below, but add your own twist and really make the applesauce belong to you.
How to Make Applesauce
Many of the following will be approximate because I don't follow a set recipe. Feel free to tweak whatever you wish. Applesauce is very easy to make, and pretty hard to ruin, so venture forth with a light heart!
- 5 lb box of apples (I use about half a box per batch)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
The first step is to peel, core, and slice your apples. If you have one of those doo-dads that peels and cores for you, congratulations. If not a potato peeler and a knife will do. I personally love the apple slicer contraption that's shaped like a circle and divides the apple into eighths. Whatever your method, you need eight slices from each apple.
Throw the sliced and peeled apples into a 2 quart or larger pot. Add the 1/2 cup of water and turn the burner on to medium heat. Place a lid on the pot and leave to cook for about 30-40 minutes, or until apples are soft. Most of the water should have evaporated, but if there is any extra pour it out, the apples are plenty juicy by themselves.
The next step involves personal preference. I like my apple sauce chunky, so I simply use a potato masher to mash the apples until they are mostly liquid. If you want smooth apple sauce you can put the cooked apples into a food processor or blender. Once mixed return the sauce to the original pan.
Next add the 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons cinnamon. Mix these together, turning the burner on if you need to heat the applesauce in order to mix the butter in. Serve piping hot with dinner! You can also put the applesauce into small tupperware containers for lunches, or even can it to preserve it for year round use. You family will never go back to the premade stuff ever again.
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