I love apples.
And I love applesauce.
I have a good friend who makes apple butter every year, but we're still working our way through some jam, and as much as I'd love to make it I know that it probably wouldn't get eaten.
But perhaps next year.
Pumpkin butter too, yum.
Today, however, I was using up the last of our apples.
Well, our apples that we bought, not that we harvested.
Although that might be a good future occupation...hmmm....that and a Christmas tree farm.
I tried to use the apple peeler corer slicer, but since the skins were getting soft it wouldn't work, so I spent a good hour peeling, coring and slicing 18 apples by hand. I am making a triple batch.
Next year I'll use up the apples sooner when their flesh is firmer.
There are lots of recipes for chunky applesauce out there, but I've taken mine from The Dutch Oven Cookbook.
Of course then I modified it.
So here's how I make my applesauce, at least this version, modified from the published version:
Six apples of whatever flavor the farmer's market has, or of your choosing, and cut into chunky pieces
1/4 - 1/2 cup of sugar (I like a lot of sugar)
juice of one orange
the zest of one orange (or as much as you'd like to get from there)
one cup of water
one teaspoon of cinnamon (I like a lot of cinnamon too)
1/8 or so teaspoon of allspice
1/8 or so teaspoon of nutmeg
one cinnamon stick
Heat over medium heat until it starts to sound like it is boiling, and then lower heat to simmer and simmer the mixture uncovered for 45 minutes, or until the flavor sufficiently permeates your house, or until it cooks down long enough to mush, but with enough chunks of apples left in there. (Perhaps I should say, until it's at the desired consistency.) Remove cinnamon stick before serving. Cool slightly and serve warm, or freeze, or refrigerate. Bring for lunch and tease your friends with just one small taste.
Okay, so Julia Child I'm not.
You won't see a cookbook in my future, but I'm telling you this stuff is good.
Well, my youngest and the hubby don't seem to think so, it's too sweet for them, but my oldest has a much more discerning palate, and he echoed my thoughts -- it tastes like apple pie filling!
So what I think I will do with some of this applesauce is use it for handheld apple pies - like empanadas, or pasties - choose your regional name for whatever you call them. Think Hostess fruit pies.
You could even add raisins or nuts to the mixture if your heart desires.