Guys! This past weekend I managed to acquire about fifteen pounds of apples. Honeycrisp apples, to be specific, which are inarguably far superior to all other apple varieties. Needless to say, I was thrilled! And then I turned into a complete grandma and made a boatload of apple sauce.
I turned into my grandma, actually- my desire to make applesauce resulted in very pleasant conversation where she told me everything she knows about sauce making. Spoiler alert: it’s very simple. I remember when we were very little, it was always a treat to come to Grandma’s house when she was making applesauce, or even had some in the fridge. There was one memorable experience where there was no sauce to be had, so my brother and I ransacked their freezer to see if any was in there….fortunately, there was 🙂
Anyway, once I had my sights set on making applesauce, my initial instinct was to search Pinterest. Like anything else, there are many blog posts dedicated to applesauce making. What I kept finding, though, were posts about how difficult it was, and time consuming, and tricks to make it easier. The thing is, I really recalled my early childhood applesauce experiences as insanely easy, and very low stress. I thought I might have been putting a too rosy glow on it, so for confirmation’s sake, I gave Edna a call.
Here’s what Grandma K had to say: she cuts the apples into about eight pieces, mixes them with some water, cinnamon, and sugar if your health permits, and then cooks them until they’re done. Then she strains them through a colander (and she asked if people still have colanders these days). She also likes to leave the skin on, for some color. After some discussion, she agreed that it would probably be okay to put the sauce in a blender, rather than straining, so that we could keep as much fiber as possible. And there you have it.
Friends, this sauce recipe was a) insanely delicious and b) unexpectedly simple. I truly followed the instructions above, measuring and adjusting ingredients to taste. The entire process took slightly less than an hour, start to finish, and I ended up with five single serving mason jars to take to work, two cups of sauce for the fridge, and two for the freezer. Evan got home from the fire station while I was at work, and immediately called to find out if he was allowed to try it, and he’s been raving about it ever since. If you’ve ever considered making applesauce, I really encourage you to give it a try! It’s fast, easy, and remarkably rewarding!
– 12 apples, give or take
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 tsp nutmeg
– 1 tsp sugar
– pinch of sugar
– water, between 1 and 2 cups
Start by washing the apples, then cutting them into quarters and coring them; cut each quarter in half, and throw them in a soup pot. Once all of the apples are ready, turn the heat to medium and stir in the sugar and spices, and about 1/2 cup of water.
(A note about the water: it really depends on the water content of the apples you’re using, and where you are in the cooking process. I like to keep my sauce pretty watery, so it doesn’t burn, and also because I like a thinner sauce. Just keep an eye on your apples, and add water when you think it needs it. In the worst case, you add too much water and need to cook it down for longer- not a problem!)
Anyway, put a lid on the apples and let them cook, stirring every few minutes. Depending on what apples you’re working with, it should only take about a half an hour for them to start to break down. Once the apples are pretty mushy with few solid chunks, you can turn off the heat. At this point, my grandma would suggest that you push the pulp through a colander. I chose to not to strain out the peels and, instead, transferred everything to a blender and pulsed until my applesauce was the right consistency. I added a little more water to keep things pretty thing and viola! Applesauce. Warm or cold, the result is awesome 🙂