A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: How to Make Homemade Applesauce

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19 May 2013

How to Make Homemade Applesauce

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We have a few ancient apple trees in our backyard.  The apples have a slightly sweet taste, with a bit of a tart bite to them.  The problem is that we have not figured out how to care for the trees well enough to keep the apples from being damaged by bugs and birds.  The result is a bunch of apples that don't look very good, but have wonderful taste.


What to do?

Make applesauce!


See how beat up these apples are?  They are absolutely perfect for making applesauce.  In fact, if you are buying apples to make your own homemade applesauce, you will want to ask the farm or orchard for the "seconds".  Those are the apples that have fallen off the trees, apples that fell off the apple cart, or simply apples that aren't perfectly round and unblemished.  They cost less, but make applesauce that tastes just as good!  If you are purchasing apples, try to purchase apples that have a sweeter taste such as Gala, Fugi or even Red Delicious.  You will want to stay away from super tart apples like Granny Smiths.


Give your apples a good rinse and scrubbing, then cut them into big chunks. 
It is not necessary to get rid of all blemishes, but it is a good idea to trim off damaged parts of the apple.  
You don't want to be boiling any worms!


Get all of the apple chunks into a giant bath of water in a large stock pot and put the heat on high.
When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to low-med and let the apples simmer.
When you can easily stick a fork into them (like boiling potatoes!), they are ready.
Drain them and allow the apples to cool a bit so you won't burn your hands.



Once your apples are cool enough to handle, but still warm enough that the skin peels off easily,
remove the larger peels and put aside the "meat" of the apples.

I ended up using the glass top from a decanter to push the apple meat through a small handheld strainer.
All of these tasks would be much easier with a food processor or juicer.  It can be done with basic equipment though!
I reserved most of the juice from the apples for homemade cider, while straining the pulp into my applesauce bowl.


When you have strained all of the juice and meat of the apples, you can compost the skins, add a little cinnamon and perhaps a bit of sugar to your applesauce and you have a delicious homemade treat!


With your leftover juice, simply add cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of honey to taste and simmer on the stove to concentrate the flavor.  
Strain off any solids and you will be enjoying fresh apple cider along with your applesauce.


Now run out and get some "seconds"!
There is no better way to celebrate the cool air of the coming fall!

Questions?  Just ask!


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