We just came back from a fun filled weekend with my brother and sister in law and along with the laughs and memories we also came home with a ton of apples. So in an effort to do something with all these delicious apples pretty quickly I decided apple sauce was the best place to start.
But while staring at the huge mound of apples (and there were even more waiting for me in my garage) the lazy, no patience, procrastinator in me wanted to do anything besides actually peeling them ALL! So thankfully I took my always wise and fabulous sister in laws advice and bought a food mill.
It is now my new best friend! If you've never seen or heard of a food mill it is the silver handled thingy (always insisting on technical terms here) with the screen. You just set it on a pot and you are ready to smoosh, smash and separate just about anything you desire. I found this at Bed, Bath and Beyond for about 15 bucks. If you only use it for applesauce and don't have a peel or in my case butcher a single apple it is so worth the money, but you can also use it to make smooth mashed potatoes and homemade baby food to name just a few.... so go get one today!
These apples we picked ourselves right from the tree, so to start out I just gave them a good soak in the sink in some warm water to get the dirt and grim off. Then one final rinse on their way to the pot. You can use many apples or as few as you want. I usually do several big stock pots in one day to take advantage of the great free apples, which makes enough for a whole year. I like to use a combination of apples, tart and sweet, but you can use whatever you have or can get your hands on.
To cook the apples all you do is put the clean fruit in a big pot, peel, seeds, stems and all. Add a couple inches of water in the bottom of the pot, put the lid on tight and let it steam and stew on low for about an hour or two.
Go make an iced coffee, watch the Real Housewives of New Jersey episode that is calling you name on your DVR and don't even think about the applesauce. I'm serious that is an order! No stirring, watching or worrying. After you've caught up on all the Housewives drama (or whatever your guilty pleasure is) this is what you'll find mushy, soft cooked apples. Once they are good and soft they are ready!
Now with a slotted spoon fish out the apples one or two at a time, dump them into the food mill and grind away. This really goes very quickly. The apple is pushed around and through the small screen on the bottom and into the pot or bowl underneath, but the stems, seeds and skins stay on top, magic right??? I know! Once it gets full dump the contents of the mill into a nearby garbage can or bowl and continue until you are done with all you apples.
This is the delicious finished product. A bonus, because you left the skins on to cook, so much flavor and sweetness stays with the applesauce, believe it or not you don't need any added sugar!!! And that is saying something coming from someone with a serious sweet tooth. You can absolutely add some white or regular sugar at this point if you like, because the apples are still hot is melts and dissolves right in. I like it plain, or with a little cinnamon and vanilla. I say, experiment and make a few different variations.
I like to use these handy freezer canning containers. You can can this, I have and it's amazing, but I've also frozen it this way and it tastes the same so I say take the easy route and sneak in one more episode of Housewives before the kids wake up.