Nothing says Fall like apples! I love the smell, taste, crisp feeling in the air that tells you it’s apple picking season. Last year, I lucked out and my Dad sent me a ton of apples from his apple tree! That was a special treat! I love the taste of a freshly picked apple. Part of my homesteading dream includes a whole orchard of apple trees!! I’ll pick bushels and bushels of all kinds of apples and the house will smell great for weeks as I can all the applesauce, (happy sigh)… In my current reality, I stock up on organic apples when they go on sale, which is usually only during apple season. When I luck out and find them on sale, I buy what I can and make some applesauce which goes really nicely into lunchboxes! The kids like the homemade version better than store-bought and I like making it, a win-win.
It’s pretty easy to make applesauce. You don’t need any fancy equipment and it doesn’t take too long. Start by cutting the apples into quarters and removing the stem and core. You could use an apple corer gizmo, but I find a small paring knife works best. I also do not peel my apples. When they are all pureed in the blender, you can’t tell that the skins are in there and I think that’s where most of the fiber and good stuff is. Generally speaking, I try not to peel anything that I grow or buy organic. It just doesn’t feel right to me to waste all that good stuff. I do wash them though. 🙂 So, hopefully that gets rid of any germs or yucky stuff that might be on there. If you want to peel them first, it will still taste good – up to you.
Add the apple quarters to a stock pot and add a little water – not too much maybe 1/2 – 3/4 cup. Cover the pot and cook on medium heat until they are soft. It’s really important to leave the cover on while they are cooking. You can remove it to take a look at them, but don’t do all the cooking without a cover or the water will boil off and you will have burned apples. The apples will release some juice as they cook and you want all this in the sauce, so leave the cover on and it won’t evaporate. If you are making a really big batch, give the apples a stir every now and then to make sure the ones on the top get cooked too. There is no exact time with this. I cooked up a 3# bag in about 15 minutes, but if you have a big stock pot full of apples, it will take a little longer. When you start to smell them cooking, you’ll probably want to check them every 5 minutes or so after that. When they are mushy – poke them with a fork or your finger (they are hot), they are done.
Transfer them to a blender and give it a whirl. I use a Magic Bullet NutriBullet Pro 900 Series Blender/Mixer System and it is a very powerful blender. It makes light work of the apple skins, but it doesn’t hold the whole pot, so I have to blend the apples in batches.
That’s it! You can make a little or a lot, put it in little containers for lunches, spice it up with cinnamon and nutmeg, or save some for later by freezing or canning.