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 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?