Applesauce and Memories
I have really cool grandparents. One of the reasons they are so cool is that every year they come and make applesauce with us. Their first date back in the 1950's involved sneaking apples from an apple orchard (don't tell them I told you). How cute is that? Sounds like something out of "The Notebook" right? They've now been married 65 years. I like to brag about them, so here's a picture of how cute they are.
(applesauce royalty at my wedding)
Who wouldn't want to be related to them? Because of all their apple experience I have dubbed them apple royalty. They are key to our apple making process. This year we made 76 jars of applesauce for $32 (thanks mom for paying). That is a pretty amazing feat. It is true we have the advantage of the apple sauce king and queen, but by following these directions, you can enjoy delicious apple sauce all year long, save some money, and maybe, eventually, become applesauce royalty yourself.
Here's what you'll need
- Apples, more apples = more sauce, we probably had about 150 lbs of apples
- Paring knives and cutting board (for cutting apples)
- Big pots (for cooking apples and for canning if that's your plan)
- Apple sauce contraption (we use a Squeezo)
- 2 containers (one for collecting the sauce, one for collecting the skins)
- Oodles of jars - ask people if they have extras before you buy
Step one: Go to an orchard and pick some apples. You can go to the store, farmers market, what have you, but know that you will be missing out on a magical apple picking experience. This year was even more magical because we brought my beautiful one year old nephew/angel baby for the occasion (if you are having a hard time imagining this, here's some pictures). The rule is, though, that if you look at them, you must say "aww!" at least in your head.
(insert love eyes emoji)
This year we also picked up 2 50 lb. bags of "deer apples" for $4 each at the orchard. These are apples they can't sell to stores because they will shortly go bad. We were making apple sauce the next day so this was no biggie. It was actually an amazing deal because they had Empire apples which are sweet, give apple sauce a pretty red color, and are usually too expensive for our apple sauce. I don't think we'll go another year without deer apples in our apple sauce.
Step 2: Wash the apples - get pesticides and dirt off of them for healthy apple sauce without dirt grit.
Step 3: Quarter the apples. Cut the apples in half and in half again (if you have some huge apples cut those into 8th's) The seeds and skin can stay, but you should cut off the little hairs at the bottom of the apples.
Step 4: Boil the apples in a couple inches of water. Keeping the skins on helps keep the healthy stuff in your apple sauce, you apple sauce contraption will separate it for you. You'll probably want some big pots for this. Cook them until they become soft (about 10 minutes).
Step 5: Pour the apples into your sauce maker (we use the apple royalty's Squeezo - it makes a lot of apple sauce fast and separates the skin). Collect the apple sauce in a pan.
Step 6: Add sugar. You don't have to do this if you are anti-sugar, but it does act as a preservative, so if you opt out realize that your apple sauce may not last as long. We add a half cup to every 9x13 pan we collect of apple sauce. Mix it in.
Step 7: Pour applesauce into jars. If you are freezing your apple sauce, fill it just below the neck to give it room to expand. If you are canning your sauce, fill it just above the neck so that it seals right.
Step 8: Freeze/can your apple sauce.
Then enjoy applesauce all year long :). Comment below any questions or variations you have on your applesauce (I'll get advice from the apple sauce queen to answer).
- Katie Veldkamp