Let’s say, hypothetically, that you have a few bushel of free apples. (Pictured: not even a third of my apples.)
Greg’s grandmother has three mature apple trees that dump a giant crop of apples every other year. This is an apple year. For our preliminary harvest we picked a laundry basket and a large Rubbermaid bucket full of them. She doesn’t spray her apples (which is fine with us) so about two-thirds of the apples were spotty. What do we make with spotty apples?
To make applesauce you will need:
- Chopping equipment (you know, knife, cutting board)
- A really, really big pot (heavy bottomed is good)
- Some water
- A Foley Mill*
And that’s it!
*A Foley Mill is a special piece of equipment that looks like a saucepan with a perforated bottom and a crank in the middle. You can buy one for just over $25, and I suggest you do if you’re making a large quantity at all. You can still make applesauce without one…it’s just harder. As I’ve never made applesauce before I didn’t have one, but fortunately I was able to borrow one from Greg’s grandmother.
Wash your apples.
Put about one inch of water in the bottom of your pot. Chop the apples into quarters (removing stems, flower ends, and rotten or buggy bits) and pitch them in, cores, peels, bruises, and all. IF you are making applesauce without a mill, you want to remove ALL peels and cores/seeds BEFORE you put apples into the pot.
Cover your pot and begin cooking on high heat. Once the apples start boiling turn it down to medium so they don’t burn. Stir occasionally until they’re soft through and basically falling apart. How long this takes will depend on how many apples you’re cooking.
Yum? If you’ve cored and peeled your apples, you can just stir in the pot until it’s apple-saucy enough for you. If you have to strain out the peels and cores still, into the mill it goes.
Now just crank, crank, crank, crank. Don’t forget, though, the apple peels will tend to spread flat and cover the holes on the bottom, so you’ll need to reverse crank from time to time to scrape them back up. Once you’ve made it through all of your cooked apples (remembering to add in any liquid from the pot…that’s mostly juice), that’s it! It’s done!
And if you’re wondering why I milled my applesauce into a crock pot, just wait and see, hahaha!