Applesauce is such a wonderful food. It can be a side dish at a meal, or a quick snack when just want a little something. It sounds like a healthy snack choice as well. That is not always true. Here is the ingredient list from one of the major brands of applesauce:
Ingredients: APPLES, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C)
Why in the world do they put HFCS in everything. It is so bad for your body, and it is from GMO corn. The last item, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) sounds like a great thing. Did you know that ascorbic acid is a corn derivative and mostly likely GMO as well? Now, it doesn’t sound like such a great food does it? I want you to know that applesauce is VERY easy to make.
We have tried making applesauce from all sorts of apples. We have a couple of favorite combinations. One of the things we keep in mind when choosing apples, is the sweetness factor. We choose apples that are sweet enough we do not need to add any sweetener to our applesauce. Our favorite combination used to be Golden Delicious and Jonathan. We use 1 Jonathan apple for every 2 Golden Delicious apples. When Joshua still lived at home and I baked with applesauce a lot, we used a lot of it. We would buy 3 bushels of apples, 2 of Golden Delicious and 1 Jonathan. It would take us awhile to go through that much applesauce now. You can substitute Mutsu apples for the Golden Delicious. They also go by the name of Crispin.
We have an orchard near us that was low spray and then went organic. It was a pick your own orchard, and we were thrilled. Last year, they quit the pick your own and actually sell very few apples. 🙁 They are making the apples into other products. We talked to the gentleman that owned the orchard. He said if we planted our own to choose trees that were more disease resistant. The two types of apples we bought from him were Gold Rush and Enterprise. The Gold Rush is an excellent keeper apple. They get sweeter with age. One year a friend of ours got some and she kept them and was able to use them into March. The man at the orchard said they best way to store them was to rinse them and put them in a plastic bag while they were still dripping wet. Then put them in a cool spot. We kept ours in a fridge out in our pantry. We actually bought and planted a Gold Rush tree. I did not think we would get apples for 2 more years. It is still really small, but it has a bunch of apples on it this year, so between that tree and our other apple trees, I am hoping I don’t have to buy any apples. The Enterprise apples were really good. The flavor reminds me of the candy you buy that says it is green apple flavor. I always said that candy flavor was nothing like apples, but these apples tasted similar, although they were red. I want to get an Enterprise tree. The combination of these 2 apples also make a wonderfully sweet sauce.
This is a picture of the Enterprise Apples. This particular year, I made my sauce using just these apples.
I set up stations for my applesauce making when I am working alone. My first station after washing is the cutting board.
I found this heavy duty fryer basket at a garage sale. It has come in so handy in doing tomatoes and apples. I fill it with apple pieces and put them in the boiling water. That way there is no splashing from dropping them into the water. It also comes in handy in fishing them out of the water in the next step. I use the popcorn bowl under this to catch the drips. While they are boiling, I quickly cut up more apples to fill my bowl for the next batch.
I let the apple quarters cook for 5 minutes. This allows them to get to the right softness to run through my strainer.
I scoop them out of the water with the basket and put them in the hopper on my strainer. I then add the next bowl of apples to my hot water and start my timer. You turn the handle on the strainer and push the apples down into the corkscrew with the plunger that comes with the strainer.
All of the peels, seeds, stems, etc. come out the end of the cone into a bowl. I feed these to the animals. The chickens love them, the pigs love them and even the cows will eat some. If you don’t have animals that will eat them, they are great in the compost as well. Sometimes I will run these back through the strainer and get more sauce out of them.
The rest of the apple comes out of a screen as applesauce. I catch it in a large bowl. Sometimes I take a spatula and scrape the screen and push the sauce on down the chute into the bowl.
As the bowl gets full, I pour it into a large stock pot on the stove that I keep over a very low light just to keep the sauce warm. You may need to stir this every once in awhile.
When I have run all the apples through, then I put the sauce in jars that I already have all clean and water bath can them for 20 mins. The bushel I used for this sauce was not entirely full as we had eaten some and a few on the top were another variety I got to try. However, I got 9 full quarts of applesauce. It is wonderful and very healthy and does not contain GMOs.