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fireside apples

Fireside apples from our tree photo by vsimon

You are kidding, right? Make my own applesauce? I can buy it in the store.

You can buy applesauce in a jar. Open it up, and it will not give you the deep apple flavor. Or fill the house with warm cinnamon scent. Or have the this chunky texture.

We make applesauce every fall. Clients even pay us to make applesauce, repeatedly. One client says it reminds him of his mom.

I have used many varieties. Courtland, Gala, Honey Crisp, Ida Red,  Macintosh, Paula Red, Yellow Delicious. I love them all. Well, maybe I love Macs a little less. They fall apart so much the sauce is not chunky. But you might prefer that.

Don’t bother with Red Delicious apples. They are red, but they are not delicious.

This year we are making Fireside applesauce at home. We have had a Fireside tree for 13 years. The first harvest was 1 apple. Most years we got about half dozen, easily eaten out of hand.

This year we harvested about 60 apples!! In early spring, we cut down a large Chinese Elm that was shading this tree all along. We knew fruit trees needed full sun to produce well. But we didn’t know how much we were missing.

So this year we have eaten lots of fresh apples. Dried lots more. And made applesauce.

Fireside apples are sweet, crisp, and very large. It took only 6 apples to weigh 3 pounds. That weight is my standard recipe, and sometimes that is a dozen apples. And that is what fits in my pressure cooker.

No pressure cooker?

You can make this on the stovetop. It will take longer, you’ll probably need more water, and you’ll have to stir it frequently to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

But the house will smell even better. I encourage you to make homemade applesauce, with or without a pressure cooker. You will be rewarded with fall comfort food.

Applesauce also freezes well. So go ahead, buy a bushel of apples, and make lots.

Peel after cooking?

Yep, that is what I do. I simply quarter, and core the apples. Cook them, and fish the big peels out of the cooked apples. It is easy, the flesh falls away from the skin. And it does not take any longer than peeling the apples first.

Still, some will say that is too much trouble.

I say it adds flavor, and sometimes color. Especially with Paula Reds, they have a nice blush just under the skin. This is lost if you peel them first.

Note: don’t try this if you do not have a pressure cooker and are cooking applesauce in a regular saucepan on the stove top. That would be an exercise in frustration. Peel those apples first.

Fireside apple sauce

Fireside applesauce with cinnamon photo by vsimon

Homemade Applesauce in a Pressure Cooker

Serves 4-6 generously metric measure
3 pounds apples about 1.5 kg
1/2 cup water 120 ml
1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 gm
1-2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, maybe 12-25 gm
1 tablespoon butter, optional 15 gm

Quarter apples and remove centers.

Put apple quarters and water in pressure cooker. Bring to pressure and cook for 3 minutes.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool until pressure drops.

Open the cooker and pour apples into large shallow bowl.

Allow to cool enough to be able to handle comfortably. Remove skins from apples, using tongs and a spoon.

Stir to desired chunkiness.

Add cinnamon and taste. You may not need any sugar at all. I didn’t use any with the Fireside apples. No butter either, though this is a nice rich addition sometimes.

What is your favorite apple?

9 Responses to “Fireside Apple Sauce in a Pressure Cooker”

  1. Rm says:

    Wow, most modern pressure cookers have this warning, even the Hawkins from India, “Do not pressure cook applesauce, cranberries, rhubarb, cereals, pastas, split peas, or soup mixes containing split peas. These foods tend to foam, froth, and sputter and may block the vent pipe, overpressure plug, and air vent/cover lock.”

    • Vincent says:

      While I am aware of the warning, I have found that if I reduce the volume of what I put into the cooker and monitor the pressure valve for blockage, I can use the pressure cooker for most items. Please use your own discretion when pressure cooking items not recommended.

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  4. We love homemade apple sauce, there’s just no comparison to store bought. My favorite apple for eating out of hand is Empire apples, it has a nice balance of crispy texture and tart flavor with a bit of sweetness. For making apple butter and apple sauce, I use Ginger Gold or Cortland. We just got a pressure cooker last month. I always roast apple sauce and apple butter, but will have to try in the pressure cooker now.

  5. Julie says:

    I love homemade applesauce, I just returned from “apple country” near my home with a bunch of honeycrisps and galas so I’m going to give this a try. I also agree with your assessment of the Red Delicious, it must be good for something…………….

  6. haha, I totally agree with your line about Red Delicious apples. Could never eat them!

  7. What a great idea! I have a lot of apples from my apple picking adventures and have mostly been eating them plain or baking them in muffins or crisp. I’ll have to give this a whirl!

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