Harvest time is a crazy time of year for many people I know. For me, spending days doing applesauce just isn't really feasible when I'm trying to launch the homeschool year, send the bigs off to public school, do extra curricular activities, do photo shoots for people, put in a fall garden, keep goats, dog and chickens out of said garden, and somehow do something with all the other things I've either picked or purchased for preserving.
There are some abandoned old apple trees on the neighboring property to ours, so we harvest from them each year. The apples usually are picked right around when the frosts start hitting, and I invariably pick them too early, so that they are sour. Then I'm sad and jaded and let them sit. This year, the apples sat for a month or so before I was able to begin to take care of them today. They were soft and overripe, but perfect to turn into applesauce.
Here's all I did:
*Preheated oven to 350 degrees
*Washed all the apples
*Culled rotten apples and cut out bad spots
*Chopped all the apples with an apple slicer
*Filled oven safe dishes with 1/2 inch water
*Filled dishes with sliced apples, seeds, stems, cores, scabs and all
*Baked for about 20-30 minutes, or until they were very soft
*Set up my kitchenaid mixer with the sieve/grinder attachment
*Scooped baked apples into grinder, leaving cooking water behind, then smooshing them down into grinder. The icky stuff, like skin and stems gets "pooped" out, according to my kids, leaving just good saucy applesauce behind.
*I let the applesauce cool and bagged it in quart bags for the freezer. I didn't add sugar because the apples were already so sweet and didn't cook them anymore on the stove top because they had cooked in the oven. You may choose to cook and season it on the stove top, then freeze or can it. This is my lazy girl method, and my kids seem to be very happy with it. Applesauce is applesauce!
|Apples before baking|
|Apples after baking|
|If you don't have a kitchen aid, you might look for a food mill, which is much more cost effective. This attachment came in two parts: Food Grinder and Fruit and Vegetable Strainer. Each cost somewhere around $40. A food mill costs about $40.|