November 1, 2013 § Leave a comment
A few weekends ago, we were out with another couple enjoying a drink and watching the Red Sox work their way into the World Series. We got on the subject of apple picking and how they had missed their chance to go. I offered them some of my apples, since there are still dozens in my fridge, but they politely declined. The girlfriend seemed quite upset that she wouldn’t be making apple crisp, while the boys at the table proceeded to tell her she could make it just as easily with apples form the grocery store. In typical fashion, the girls’ response was anonymous, “That‘s not the point!”
Our apple picking apples have just about turned the corner. They no longer have that crisp outer skin and they’re a bit mushy too. I proceeded to tell our friends about how I planned to make applesauce with all the leftover apples. I won’t lie they kind of stared at me, if just for a second too long.
“What are you going to do with applesauce?”
“Eat it with what?”
Every since we were young I remember eating applesauce. I usually warmed it in the microwave for 30 seconds, just to get the chill off and would cuddle up on the couch with a nice big bowl. It was the perfect little afternoon snack. My mom would even put it out on the table at dinnertime as a side, which I just recently learned was “To fill you kids up.” (We might have been picky eaters.) Apparently though, this is an unusual thing to do. When I mentioned this to our friends, their response was “You eat applesauce with pork chops.” (Which I guess is a very typical American meal that all mothers’ make for their children, that until they mentioned it, I had never heard of.)
I know I would have hated pork chops with applesauce, so I couldn’t be happier that my mom passed down her tradition of making applesauce and eating it all by itself instead. She taught me how to boil the apples, when to pluck them from the water just at the right moment and to always keep the skins on, to get a beautiful pink color.
There was no real science to her recipe other than cut, boil and mash apples. Below is a recipe that works best for me today based of this same idea.
Makes 4-6 cups
(depending on the size of the apples)
15 apples (I prefer to use McIntosh)
Bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil. Set an applesauce mill over a large bowl. (This can be done with a small sieve; however, it is much easier with an applesauce mill).
Cut each apple into quarters, removing the core and seeds, leaving the skin on. (For larger apples, cut into eight slices.) In batches, place apple slices into the boiling water, no more than can fill the surface of the pot. Boil the apples until the skins start to pull away from the core, the apples will start to crack a bit too, about 10-15 minutes. (This time does depend on the type of apples you use. You can tell the apples are ready more by look than time.)
Remove the apples from the pot, using a slotted spoon, making sure to shake off any excess water.
Place the cooked apples into the top of the applesauce mill. Place more apples into the boiling pot. While this round is boiling, press the wooden paddle against the edges of the mill. The apples should easily fall apart and you should see juices oozing down the sides of the mill into the bowl. (If using a sieve use the back of a wooden spoon to press the apples, and clean out the sieve of leftover skins a couple times between batches.) Continue this process of boiling and mashing until all the apples are used up.
You can enjoy the applesauce immediately, still warm or keep in the fridge for snacks later in the week.