If you’re lucky enough to have your own little orchard, or you happen to live in apple country, you’ve got apples in September, throughout October and possibly into November.
|© Sharon Fibelkorn
Apple-picking is a favorite family activity in the fall and there’s nothing like biting into a crisp apple, fresh from the tree. When you have more than you know what to do with--make applesauce.
There’s nothing like homemade applesauce and if you invested in a food mill to deal with your excess tomatoes, you’re ready to start.
Applesauce isn’t quite as forgiving as tomato sauce. Though any apple can be used to make sauce, not every apple makes good applesauce.
Some favorite apples for making sauce or pies are the McIntosh, affectionately known as the "Mac," or the Macoun, a cross between a Mac and a Jersey Black, developed in New York State. Both are tender and sweet, and disintegrate easily into sauce, unlike some of the harder varieties, like Red Delicious, Suncrisp or Arkansas Black.
Since taste is a matter of preference, it’s worth experimenting a little to find a blend that suits you. If you’re particularly fond of Red Delicious, try combining them with a softer variety like the Macoun.
Once again, you’ll need a heavy 8-quart pot, a food mill, a large bowl, plastic containers for freezing the sauce, and labels for contents and date.
- 1/2 bushel apples, washed, cored and quartered
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 to 1 T. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Place apples in pot and add enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan. As the apples cook, they will release own their juices, so there will be plenty of liquid. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are very soft and mushy. Process in batches with your food mill over a large bowl, discarding skins retained by the screen. Gradually add sugar, adjusting to taste. (Some apples are naturally so sweet that you may not need to add much.) Add cinnamon and nutmeg; stir well. If necessary, return to heat and simmer to reduce liquid. Fill plastic containers to within one inch of the top and cover. Let containers sit until sauce cools to room temperature, then freeze.