Monday, September 26, 2011
If it is fall in New England then it is time to go apple picking. This is an annual event in my family and has bonded our family for many years. What better way to experience first hand how a favorite fruit grows and is incorporated into homemade apple pies, apple crisps and of course homemade applesauce! Tasting different varieties while in the apple orchard tempts us to try many varieties of apples. Shining one up after picking, before eating this natural treat, is part of the adventure of a visit to the local apple orchard.
We pick mostly Cortland apples for our baking pies and crisps and making applesauce. Macintosh (Macs) and Granny Smiths can be combined in many favorite recipes.
A good eating apple is a Gala, Fuji and Macoun as well as Honey Crisp. These are firm and sweeter varieties. If you crave that lip-puckering tartness of a crisp apple, go for the Macintosh.
From our tutorial on apple varieties right there in the apple orchard, we learned that Cortland apples do not get brown as quickly when cut into pieces, therefore, they make a good baking apple.
The process for making fresh applesauce is simple to follow. There is nothing better than the taste and consistency of homemade applesauce. Try it and be proud of the quality of your efforts.
What you will need:
Cortland or Mac Apples
Large Pot with matching cover
Cortland applese or mixture to include Grany Smith and/or Macintosh
Water, about 1/2 cup
Cinnamon, about 1 tablespoon or to taste
Sugar, about 3-4 tablespoons or to taste
Wash all apples before cutting
Cut the apples with the kitchen knife on all sides close to the core
Add all cut apples including the cores, put into the large pot with the water.
Put the pot on the stove burner, turn heat up to medium-high at first.
Cover the pot.
When the apples begin bubbling in the water, turn down the stove burner to low setting.
Keep the cover on the pot and check on the cooking apples often, turning them over in the pot with the wooden spoon.
Cook the apples down until a bit mushy, but still solid.
Take the cover off, turn off the stove burner and let the apples cool a little bit.
With the food mill in place over a large bowl, spoon in the cooked apples into the food mill and begin to turn the handle to press the cooked apples through the strainer in the food mill.
When all the cooked apples have been put through the food mill, add cinnamon and sugar, and stir through the mixture.
Adjust the cinnamon and sugar for your personal taste.
(Flavor from cooked apples is different depending on the varieties of apples used.)
Serve the fresh applesauce at room temperature or keep in the refrigerator until a later serving time.
The applesauce firms up after refrigeration and the flavors blend together.