Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Applesauce

This week I’m making applesauce…a LOT of applesauce…AGAIN. This batch, and probably most of the batches I make in the next three or four weeks are NOT going to get canned.  Oh, I’ve canned some too but right now, applesauce is my secret snacking weapon! I’m always looking for healthy snacks to appease the ravening hordes hungry guys in my house who go searching the pantry and the fridge in between meals.

Right now the apples in the grocery stores are plentiful and priced right. Farm markets and fruit stands often sell large bags of apples for very reasonably prices. I buy several 5# bags of apples (Romes are my favorite for applesauce because they’re the cheapest, but any flavorful apple will do) each week and keep our fridge stocked with fresh, homemade sauce. Homemade applesauce is an easy, healthy, inexpensive snack.

Basket of apples

Homemade Applesauce

  • Wash apples.
  • Quarter them and cut out the bad bits. Don’t worry about the cores or the skins yet.
  • Boil a whole bunch in a deep stock pot with an inch or two of  water until mushy. Don’t turn the burner on high because it’s possible to burn the apples.
  • To make the apple milling process easier, I usually give the cooked apples a brief whir through my food processor or I use my submersion blender to coarsely break the apples up. The cores and skins are still on the apples, so you’re not really trying to make this smooth. It just helps speed up the milling step.
  • Put the mush through the apple mill.
apple mill
  • Add sugar as needed to the sauce
If you don’t have an apple mill, you can peel and core the apples before cooking them. After they’re cooked, you can process them the rest of the way in the blender, the food processor, or with the handheld immersion blender.
I store my homemade applesauce in a big 6-quart tub in the fridge. My guys always gobble it up within about a week, so I don’t worry about preservation beyond refrigeration for the week. In our house, this tub of applesauce is one of those snacks you can eat any time without checking with mom first.
Bowl of homemade applesauce
If you’re going to store the applesauce for longer than about a week, you should probably can it in quart jars. If you want to can your applesauce sauce:
  • Put the sauce back into a large stock pot and bring back up to boil
  • Sterilize lids and rings
  • Wash quart jars (the jars ended up getting sterilized also, but every cookbook I can find says that running them through the dishwasher is enough.)
  • Put sauce in jars
  • Water bath the jars for 23 minutes
Canned applesauce
I usually use Rome apples because right now I get the best price on those and often they turn the sauce a lovely pink. If you have access to other varieties, different apples will give you some delicious variations in flavor. Experiment with different types of apples to find your favorite flavor combination.
Now if all this sauce-making is making you hungry for something a little more decadent than applesauce, head over to Stick Boy Bread and sample their Spicy Apple Almond sweet bread. Mmmmmmm. The kids can eat the applesauce!
Barb  

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Tasty Tuesday: Apple Oops!

Oops. I promised a week of apple recipes over at My Sister’s Kitchen and then Life caught up with me, swept me off my feet, and tumbled me head over heels. And now it’s a week later and there are NO apple recipes yet. So embarrassing…..

Today I have two very easy, very quick apple desserts. One is simple and inexpensive. The other one is rich and elegant, an adults-only dessert.

Baked Sliced Apples

This is an easy dessert that actually clocks in as pretty healthy. Start by thinly slicing one apple per person. (The proportions of the other ingredients is based on the assumption of six apples.) I leave the skins on because there is so much flavor in the skins. If you or your family prefers skinless apples, then peel them first.

Toss the sliced apples with 2/3 c. sugar, 1 T. cinnamon, 1/4 c. flour.

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Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Serve in bowls. Better yet, serve over bowls of vanilla ice cream!

Apples Baked in Cointreu

This second dessert is much richer and definitely not for the junior members of the family. If you have special guests that you’d like to serve a really wonderful dessert, this might just fill the bill.

peeledunpeeled apple

Start by peeling and coring an apple for each dessert eater. I like using Rome apples for this dessert. Although my photo shows that we cored the apples all the way through, in the future, I’ll leave the bottom part of the core in the apple.

cored apple

Arrange the apples in an uncovered baking dish. Pour 1 to 1.5 c. Cointreau liqueur over the apples. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Baste the apples with the Cointreau every ten minutes.

baked apple

Serve hot with a dollop of whipped cream.

There are many recipes around for apples and Cointreau. Most of them call for orange juice, nuts, and raisins. Those all will make a very rich dessert, but this recipe is extremely simple and elegant.

If you want to make something similar to this but minus any alcohol, use 3/4 c. orange juice concentrate and 1/3 c. grapefruit juice concentrate. Baste while the apples are baking.

bakedapple close

Barb Kelley, My Sister’s Kitchen

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family..

Tasty Tuesday: An apple a day….

An apple a day can launch many delicious eating adventures!

Over in My Sister’s Kitchen, we’re celebrating delicious apples all week…trying new recipes, exploring new combinations (today I learned of a side dish involving brussels sprouts and roasted apples!), and revisiting old favorites. Please check in each day to see what THAT apple day is all about.

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Today, I’m starting with a favorite apple-y breakfast dish: Cinnamon Apple French Toast. This recipe has a story–as many of my recipes do. When I was in my early twenties I spent several summers working at a camp up in northern British Columbia. It was an incredibly formative place for me and I made lifelong friends up there. It was at that camp, Rock Nest Ranch, that I acquired some of my favorite recipes. Years later, when my kids ranged in age from 4 to 10, I traveled with my best homeschooling friend and her four kids on the most amazing field trip of our lives. We spent six weeks on a road trip that took in some substantial time at that camp. It was memorable…even the youngest ones still remember that summer. To my delight, some of my favorite foods were still being served at the camp!

I convinced the cook to give me her recipe for baked French toast and I tucked it away for future use. I share it with you because it’s fun way to start the day with apples.

ingredients2

Apple Cinnamon Baked French Toast

  • 10 slices of thick French bread (I use homemade bread)
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 3/4 c. milk
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 4 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 3/4 t. nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 T. butter

cinnamon

Place slices of bread in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.

Combine eggs, milk, 1/3 c. sugar and vanilla; pour 1/2 mixture over bread. Top with half of the apple slices. Combine 1/3 c. sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle 1/2 of this sugar mixture over the apples. Top with remaining apples. Pour remaining egg mixture over apples and sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture. Dot with butter. Cover and chill overnight or 8 hours.

Take out of fridge 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered at 350° for 1 hour or until knife comes out clean. Let stand for five minutes before serving.

I love being able to make a special breakfast treat the night before. This is a great dish for guests or for a fancy brunch.

We’ve only just begun! Come on over and visit My Sister’s Kitchen for more ideas for this apple-y time of year.

Barb Kelley.