Monday, December 8, 2008

Apple Sauce and Cranberry Ginger Applesauce

I had a ton of apples from my tree this year. So, I decided to try my hand at applesauce. First, I made the unsweetened apple sauce. This was quite good, but a bit flat for my taste. I made several batches for baby food for all the babies I know. I didn't add lemon or fruit fresh since I'm not up on the current baby feeding rules. The recipe is from this post.

In the second recipe I added a mere 1/4 c sugar and a cinnamon stick. This took the applesauce from very good to spectacular. I'm still not a huge fan of the texture of applesauce, but I really like this version. I plan to serve it with potato pancakes for breakfast over Christmas vacation.

The cinnamon ginger applesauce is good also. I cut the amount of sugar way down from the original recipe. My family is a huge fan of tart. I may cut the sugar down even more next time. 1 used 1 T ginger as called for in the original recipe. The ginger was a bit too pronounced for my personal taste, so I cut the amount in half in the recipe below. If you prefer sweeter applesauce with more ginger (as I suspect many people would) check out the original post on Pinch My Salt. If you want to get all Martha Stewart you could serve the cranberry applesauce with my sweet potato pancakes (without the spices).

***Instead of coring and cutting the apples into pieces, I used an apple/corer/slicer/peeler. The peeling part of my machine hasn't worked for years. That's not a problem since the food mill filters out the peels anyway. Once the apples are sliced, make one cut down the apples to make apple circles. If you own one of these machines, that will make sense to you. If you have an apple tree, the corer/slicer/peeler is a worthwhile investment.

Apple Sauce (unsweetened)

10-12 lbs of apples or enough to fill a 12 quart stock pot, cored and chopped
1/2 c water
lemon juice or fruit fresh (optional to prevent browning)

Place ingredients in a stock pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes. Stir several times to move the top apples to the bottom. When the apples are soft, it's done. Run the contents through a food mill and discard the solids.

Cinnamon Apple Sauce
10-12 lbs of apples or enough to fill a 10-quart stock pot
1/2 c water
1/4 c sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 T lemon juice (or fruit fresh in an undetermined amount)

Place all ingredients in the stock pot with the cinnamon stick on the bottom. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Stir the apples several times to move the bottom apples to the top. As it cooks, the apples will release more water. When all the apples are soft, it is done. Remove cinnamon stick and run the contents of the pot through a food mill. Discard the solids left in the food mill.

Cranberry Ginger Apple Sauce
4-5 lbs baking apples, quartered and cored (or use the apple/corer/peeler)
1/2 c water
1 T lemon juice
1 12 oz package of cranberries
1/2 c sugar
1/2 T grated ginger
pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in a dutch oven. Bring the water to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer 30 minutes. Stir the applesauce a few times, moving the top apples to the bottom. When the apples are mushy it is done. Run everything through the food mill. Discard the peels left in the food mill.

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