For those of you who don't know, I am working with preschoolers again! We have a class of 14 busy 4-year-olds, and our school year is off to a great start! Our first field trip was to Brown's Orchards in Loganville, PA. After a fun tour, each of the children had the opportunity to pick their own apple and tasted some homemade apple cider. Brown's also has an awesome country store, where they sell all of their different products. I left their store with Smokehouse apples to make sauce, a gallon of apple cider, apple dumplings, and 2 quarts of pumpkin pie ice cream! I could have spent lots and lots of money there...it's a dangerous place :) Brown's also gave us apples to make sauce, as a preschool class. The kids had so much fun with it!!
This past Thursday was applesauce-making day at home with my mom and grandma. It was a fun day, for sure! And now, our freezers are full :) We used two different apples: Smokehouse (our favorite) and Golden Supreme. If you have any question about what kind of apples to buy or how many, just ask at your local farmer's market. This is how we make our applesauce...
20 medium-sized apples (about 1/2 a peck...our favorite variety is Smokehouse)
1-3/4 cups water
1 cup sugar (for tart apples) or 1/2 cup sugar (for sweet apples)
Desired amount of cinnamon (I use about 1 tsp.)
**Note: 1/2 a peck of apples will only make a few quarts of applesauce. Double/triple/quadruple this recipe, if desired! 20 apples will fill a large pot, so make your applesauce in batches of 20 apples.
Wash, core and quarter each apple. Place apple wedges in a large pot. You don't have to peel the apples if you are using an applesauce cone/strainer (you can also use a food mill or kitchen-aid attachment). If you prefer a more chunky applesauce, you can use a potato masher or cook the sauce in your crockpot (but you will have to peel the apples).
Add water, sugar, and cinnamon to the apples in the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook apples until very soft and mushy (about 20 minutes), stirring often.
Cool mixture slightly. Set up your applesauce cone/strainer over a large bowl. Using a large soup ladle, add apple mixture to the cone, a little at a time, using the wooden pestle to push the sauce through the tiny holes. Discard apple skins if your cone begins to clog.
Ladle the strained applesauce into freezer containers. Remember to label the lids. Enjoy your homemade applesauce all year round!