Thursday, November 4, 2010

Apples, Apples Everywhere

I will warn you that my next few posts will include apple recipes because last weekend Logan and I went to a Pick Your Own produce farm and came home with tons of apples. I already have made an apple butterscotch tart (will post about that next time) and today I made homemade applesauce and in a few days I'm planning on making Apple Bisque with Chestnuts (will post about later). I am nervous about the apple bisque because I can't really imagine an apple soup but I am assured that it is not really that sweet so we shall see...and also I have no idea how to cook with chestnuts. I told my mom about the chestnuts and she said "Stephanie, that is a Yankee thing. Don't get too attached to the chestnuts" :) This is why I miss my mom.

Homemade applesauce is one of those ridiculously easy recipes that gives you an amazing product. You can make as much or as little as you want and it freezes so well. I know that come February I am going to be so happy to eat some applesauce that actually tastes like fresh fruit so with no further ado...
I love how Pioneer Woman has all her ingredients set out in her pictures so here we go.
At the orchard we picked Red Romes, Red Delicious, and Granny Smiths. These are all great cooking apples. I really recommend mixing your apples when making applesauce because you will get a much more rounded flavor. The most labor intensive part of this recipe is the apple prep. You need to peel, core and quarter your apples. I usually use around 3-4 lbs of apples but this recipe adjusts really easily so just use what you have available. Put your naked apples in a big pot with around 1 cup of water, lemon peel, lemon juice from 1 lemon (more if you like tart applesauce), lots of cinnamon! I put in 4 sticks of cinnamon and a good sprinkle of cinnamon (if you aren't crazy about cinnamon then use 1 stick and as much cinnamon to your taste), salt, brown sugar and white sugar (I use splenda to keep calories down and it works great). I also tossed in a bit of nutmeg because I am nutty like that :)
I love recipes where you just toss everything in one pot.
Now, you are pretty much done. How quick and awesome is that?!? Turn up the heat until the water boils and then turn it back down low/medium, cover your pot and simmer for around 30 minutes or until your apples are all squishy and falling apart.
The apples will produce a lot of liquid and will fall apart when poked with a spoon when they are ready.
 Remove your cinnamon sticks and try to remove your lemon peel. I couldn't find mine so it got mashed up with the apples, oh well. *Edit-after the applesauce cooled and I was packing it up I actually found most of them so apparently the trick is to go fishing after it cools*I also usually rinse my cinnamon sticks and use them again unless they have been used a ton. Now the last step it is kind of up to personal preference. I like a rustic, kind of chunky, applesauce so I just squish mine with a pastry blender (because I don't have a potato masher) and it works just fine but I imagine you could use an electric mixture or even a blender on a low setting if you want a really fine, smooth applesauce. This is also a good time to taste it to see if it needs more spices, sugar, salt etc. delicious
Applesauce is great hot or cold and freezes beautifully so go crazy. I love it on peanut butter toast (sounds nasty but it is delicious. This is a great holiday/fall recipe because like many of my favorite recipes, it makes your whole house smell so yummy. I recently discovered the music channels on our tv so I have been playing Christmas music non stop and starting my Christmas decorating so to me this just smells like the holidays. Do you guys/gals have any recipes that you *must* make during the holidays? Applesauce is one of mine, as are sugar cookies, gingerbread and lots of things with pumpkin :)

Homemade Applesauce
3-4 lbs of cooking apples, peeled, cored and quartered-I like to use Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Red Rome, or Fuji ( I think I ended up using around 10-12 apples)
1 cup of water
3/4 strips of lemon peel
Juice of one lemon-around 3/4 Tbsp
Cinnamon Sticks-I used 4 but 2 had been used before for making cider last weekend so they weren't full strength
A really healthy sprinkle of cinnamon (I like a really cinnamon-y applesauce so I would suggest starting with a bit and work your way up unless you are a huge fan like me :)
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of sugar -I use splenda and it works great. (you may need to use more or less depending on how sweet your apples are so I usually start with a bit under a 1/4 cup and add more after cooking if it needs it)
1/2 tsp of salt
a bit of nutmeg if desired

Hope you bring a bit of the holidays in your home,


  1. I was about to say that promoting Holiday Cheer before Halloween is outrageous, and then I realized that it, in fact, the official holiday season. Are we really already this close to the end of fall? It's hardly started here!

  2. I know! It sneaks up on you :) In Connecticut it already has started getting really chilly, especially at night so it definitely feels like the holiday season!

  3. I need pumpkin recipes!! I have 3 little pie pumpkins I feel obligated to do something with