A is for Apple

The letter A stands for many things. Autumn, apples, and (of course) Andrea. Put all three together, and you get…

Apples simmering in a pot

…applesauce!

Apples abound in the fall and the grocery stores and roadside stands are overflowing with apples in all sorts of varieties, from the soft and sweet Macintosh to the crisp Empire and Courtland… they are all delicious in their own way.

When the giant cardboard boxes make the appearance at our grocery store every October, we buy apples. Lots and lots of apples. Some get sliced up into pie crusts to become a warm and savoury apple pie with lots of cinnamon. Others get eaten just as they are, cold and crisp and filling. The ones in the photo above, they were destined for applesauce.

close-up view of the pot of applesauce

The sauce bubbled away on the stove for an hour or so, filling the air with the sweet smell of cooked apples, and was finished just in time for dessert (that’s spaghetti noodles you saw boiling in the other pot).

Pink dessert.

Yes, it’s true, we make pink applesauce around here. No food colouring required — just leave the skins on. I like to think all the vitamins in the skin find their way into the sauce, though I have no idea how true that is.

The truth of the matter is, I’m lazy, and peeling all the apples is just too much work, even with the peeling machine my mother bought me a few years back (thanks mom!). Instead, I simply slice the apples up and drop them in the pot. Later, once they’ve simmered down to a nice consistency, I run the entire mess through the strainer on my kitchen aid. It’s probably more efficient that way too, as you don’t lose any flesh to the peeling process, and if I’m organized, I can jar up the sauce right as it exits the strainer.

Either way, pink or not, applesauce fresh out of the pot is just plain delicious.

finished apple sauce

Andrea’s super-simple recipe for applesauce:

Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a large pot (and I do mean a large pot).

Slice up 8 lbs of apples, removing the seeds and stems.

Turn the heat down low and throw the apples in the pot. You can add a splash of lemon juice if you like. Cinnamon is good too.

Add anywhere from none to 1/4 to 3/4 cup sugar, white or brown, as you like it.

Stir often, and add more water if the sauce seems too thick.

When the apples have been reduced to mush with little lumps of faded peel floating around, turn off the heat and set up the Kitchen Aid mixer with the food strainer attachment (as an alternative you could just press the sauce through a regular old sieve or colander in a big bowl, or stretch a piece of cheesecloth over a bowl and press the sauce through).

Strain the sauce by whichever method you chose to remove the peels and any stray seeds or tough bits.

Jar up the sauce and freeze it; it will keep for up to a year.

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