Thursday, October 22, 2009

Five Star Apple Sauce

This sauce is reminiscent of one from my husband's childhood. His grandparents had just one apple tree. However, that one apple tree had five different kinds of apples grafted onto it. Every fall he would help his grandfather pick apples, then he'd help prepare the apples for the sauce his grandmother made. He'd enjoy that sauce throughout the year, right up until the next year's apples began to ripen, and it was time to start the process all over again.

This sauce is a mixture of 5 apples. I like to use a combination of sweet and tart apples, but just about any combination will work. This year I used Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Black Arkansas, Rome, and Braeburn. We picked the Golden Delicious, and the rest were purchased at an organic apple farm stand. My mix this year was based on availability! You certainly don't need to can the sauce, unless you happen to have an extra 50 pounds of apples like I do. Instead, make a small batch. Enjoy some with dinner tonight, then keep on enjoying any that might be leftover for several meals during the week.


5 pounds apples - 1 pound each of 5 varieties
2 cups water or apple juice
1 - 2 cups sugar (optional)
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice


Quarter apples, cutting out and discarding any spots with insect damage. Place apples in a large heavy bottomed stainless steel sauce pan, adding enough water or juice to make sure the apples don't stick. Bring apples to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cover and boil for 5 to 10 minutes, until the apples are tender and begin to fall apart.

Run cooked apples through a food mill, discarding skins and seeds. Return sauce to heavy bottomed pan and bring back to a boil. Add lemon juice, then add sugar to taste. Sweeter apples will need less sugar than tart ones.

If canning sauce, prepare jars, lids, and screwtops by washing thoroughly. Fill a large stockpot or canner with enough water to cover filled jars. Keep jars and lids in hot water until ready to use. Fill hot jars with applesauce, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles by running a non-metalic knife around the edges of the jar. Wipe the top of jar with an impeccably clean washcloth, removing any traces of applesauce. Fit with a jar lid, tighten with a screwtop and place filled jar in canner. After all jars are in the canner, adjust water heighth so that jar tops are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring canner to a boil, cover, and boil canned applesauce for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off heat, remove lid, and let jars sit for an additional 5 minutes. Remove jars from hot water bath, and let sit overnight or until cool. Check lids to make sure they are sealed, and label your sauce!

Makes 5 pints of applesauce

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Share stories about food. This applesauce is famous in our family because of the story of how a little boy helped his grandparents. If there's a healthy food that's full of family memories, learn how to make it - or re-create it, and make new memories with your family. The kid in all of us eats up stories as much as we eat up our dinners.

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