Old Fashioned Applesauce

This time-saving technique needs no update, it is already perfect!

When we lived in the cabin in the woods in the mountains, the edge of the property carried a small stand of extremely old apple trees. More dead wood than live, and shrunken in stature, the trees had seen more glorious days. However, every few years, they bore an incredible flush of apples, an heirloom variety I’ve yet to identify. They were beautiful, the outside stripes of red and pink and green, and the inner flesh was a pale blush with streaks of deeper pink.

finished applesauce
Simple ingredients: apples, vanilla, cinnamon, perhaps a splash of lemon!

They were as tasty as they were beautiful, and I gathered as many as I could to make applesauce for the year. So sweet, the sauce needed no sugar and little in the way of spicing. Cooking it on my wood stove, I fell in love with making and canning applesauce.

I made the applesauce the way my mom did – no peeling, no seeding, no coring, just cut up, cooked, and put through the food mill. This made the work not only quick and easy, but fun as well. The food mill did most of the work, and the task was done in no time.

It’s hard to improve on the best!

No need to improve on this old technique! The process is already efficient of time, and the sauce perfect of texture.

in food mill

If you do not own a food mill, consider this modest purchase. For $20 to $30 at the hardware store (less at a flea market), you will have a piece of kitchen equipment you’ll use for years. The original food processor, but even better. It purees vegetables, soups, and sauces perfectly. It is quick work to make baby food, and to rice potatoes for a mash. One of the best features, and its advantage over a food processor, is that while it purees, it separates the peelings, core, seeds, etc., from the fruit thus saving peeling and coring time!

It is also fun to operate, and the kids love using it, too. That would be kids of all ages.

Simple ingredients

You can make applesauce with just apples, a little water, and a little time. It has a bit more flavor, if you also use apple cider, and an addition of lemon juice, vanilla, and cinnamon if you like at the end.

You do not need to make a bushel of apples into sauce and spend all day canning! If you haven’t made applesauce before, start with a little batch while dinner cooks, just five or six apples is all you need!

 Old Fashioned Applesauce

The technique:

Peel and core a mix of your favorite apples, then cut into small chunks. If you use more than one type of apple, you will get an applesauce with a more balanced and interesting flavor, but choose what you like to eat.

If you have a food mill:

Quarter the apples, then cut into eighths or more depending on the size of your apples. The smaller the pieces, the quicker they cook. You’ll have about a quart and a half of cut up apples.

Put the apples in a large pot and add a half-cup or so of cider or water, maybe a tad bit more. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, and let cook/steam over medium low heat for about 20 minutes, or until the apples are soft and skin pulling away from them.

Place the food mill over a bowl, and add a couple of large spoonsful of cooked apples at a time, turning the handle clockwise and occasionally backward to keep things moving freely. Don’t forget to scrape the sauce from the bottom of the mill.

Finished applesauce
A quick batch of applesauce can be jarred and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, or, given to friends!

Once they are all pureed, check for seeds; some always manage to make their way into the sauce. Taste. Add a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract, the juice of a half lemon, and a half-teaspoon of cinnamon. Taste. If you like, you can add more spice, and a little sugar or honey if you want it sweeter, it’s all up to you!

If no food mill:

If you don’t have a food mill, you will have to peel and core the apples. Then proceed with the same cooking process. When apples are done, mash with a potato masher, or pulse in a food processor, to the desired consistency.

© Copyright 2018 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read

6 Comments Add yours

  1. trkingmomoe says:

    Your pink depression glass is lovely. I also love home made apple sauce. Thanks for sharing and bringing back memories.

    1. Thanks! I have a few pieces of my grandmother’s pink Depression glass, and over the years I’ve added to it. When I use the bowls and measuring cups, I feel connected to women from the past and all the care given to preparing meals for hungry family members.

Please leave your valued comment here...