By Leah Matzke / Featured in Make It Minnesota's Fall 2014 issue.
Although I grew up in a home where apple pie and dessert was no stranger to the table, one thing we never made was homemade apple sauce. I was introduced to this treat last fall by a friend from church and our family is hooked! Upon trying this affordable and flavor-packed fall treat it will be difficult to put store-bought applesauce in the shopping cart again. And it is pretty simple to make too!
For this dish you will need apples (preferably from a friend with apples to share, as I found was especially the case this fall as Minnesota experienced a bumper apple crop), a large pot, a stove top, a sieve, cinnamon, sugar, and freezer bags.
1: Wash your apples and core them. Coring can be done with an apple corer/segmenter or with a knife. The great thing with apple sauce is you do not need to peel the apples, just cut out the cores to remove the seeds (they can affect the flavor) and then put entire apple slices into the pot.
2: Cook the apples. Take your pot and fill it 1-2 inches deep with water. Then fill the rest of your pot with your apple slices and turn it onto high, stirring occasionally. When boiling, reduce the heat and let the apples simmer until they’re soft enough to easily stick a fork through.
3: Sieve the apples. I did this by using a hand-cranked Foley food mill I inherited from my grandmother. To use put your sieve over a bowl to collect the apple sauce. Then scoop the hot, cooked apples into the sieve and crank to push the apples through, separating the flesh from the peels and leaving you with apple sauce in the bowl below. I enlisted the help of my daughter for this step.
4: Add sugar and cinnamon to taste. Depending on the variety of apple you may not need to add any sugar. My family has a bit of a sweet tooth so we added about a 1/4 cup of sugar to a 2 quart batch.
5: Serve warm or store in refrigerator/freezer. Most of the homemade apple sauce I make has a hard time making it into storage. If allowed our kids would eat it as fast as we can make it. That said, when making large quantities freezing for later months in quart-size freezer bags works great.
6: Enjoy! Making your own applesauce can be a great family event and although it takes a little time and effort, when it hits the table everyone is sure to enjoy your labors.
Tip: Make it a family affair and enlist the help of your kids - just be sure and watch them closely or they might snitch!