|Beautiful Chileno Valley|
Chileno Valley Ranch is beautiful, and the owners are wonderful. Sally is a Master Gardener and it shows in the flowers and trees all over the property. They have several varieties of heritage apple trees (I can't remember the names) that were planted with apple-picking in mind. Therefore, it was easy for the kids to pick $30 worth of apples.
|"I lost a bracket from my braces."|
|Chileno Valley Lamb & Very Pregnant Ewe|
|Chileno Valley Ranch Home|
Water or Apple Cider
Cinnamon Sticks (optional)
Ground Cinnamon (optional)
Grated Nutmeg (optional)
Step 2: Core and slice. I just used a paring knife, but you can use one of those apple-corer things. No need for uniform sizes or perfect anything. You just want apples without seeds and stems.
|Real apples with real blemishes.|
Step 3: Add water and spices. In a pot on the stove, add apple slices, about 1/2 inch of water (or apple cider), and several cinnamon sticks and a few cloves if you want to. No need to add sugar unless the apples are super tart or you like things super sweet. Turn the heat to medium-low and cover.
Step 4: Cook. Let apples break down for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to check the mushiness level (technical term). Turn the heat down to simmer and let it all soften for another 30 minutes. Stir a few times to make sure it isn't burning. Keep it covered.
Step 5: Mash or puree. Once sauce reaches the desired texture, turn off heat. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves from the pot, and then mash up the apples. I use our potato masher because I like chunky sauce and I don't like to wash extra dishes. If you want a smoother texture, use a food mill, a blender, or a food processor.
Step 6: Taste. If you would like more cinnamon flavor, add some ground cinnamon. If you like nutmeg, add some nutmeg. I happened to have whole nutmeg so I grated a pinch in along with some extra cinnamon. Stir it all together and you're done. Serve warm (yum) or refrigerate.
Step 7: Store. I put my sauce in a large mason jar and put it in the refrigerator. The jar isn't properly sealed for long-term storage, so we're eating it within a few weeks. If you want to keep the sauce for a few months, you'll need to take the time to can it. You can easily find solid instructions online, or you can ask your dad, mom, grandma, or anyone who knows the mechanics of canning.
Easier Than Pie
Making applesauce at home is incredibly easy, and is a fun way to get the kids to help out in the kitchen (and then sneak out and leave them to clean up). I have fond memories of watching my mom and grandma peel apples (expertly peeled into one long ribbon), slice them against their thumbs (No cuts!), and then make the best apple pies and crisps. The apple cake I want to make involves shredding the apples--I guess it's time to get out my box grater and get busy!
My first serving of this applesauce was over plain Greek yogurt. It was the perfect blend of cold, tart yogurt and warm, sweet apple. This was easy, the applesauce was delicious, the house smelled like apple-cinnamon goodness, and I had only five things to wash, but beautiful memories of apple picking with my kids and my mom.
(I showed my husband this post and he immediately asked, "What's Car Mama cooking for dinner?" Guess I better get to the store...)
How do you like to prepare, eat, or serve your applesauce? And what great apple recipes do you make in the fall?
(c) Copyright Text and Photos 2010-2016. Erika JN Fish. Car Mama. All Rights Reserved.