9.21.2009

Autumn = Applesauce

Once upon a time in Michigan, we had a backyard full of apple trees. I have no idea what variety but they were small, tart and delicious and everyone looked forward to fall so we could make applesauce. My mother made it often when I was a child- this is her recipe. It was hard to come by because she never wrote it down- I had to watch her make it. It's a classic, basic, simple, do it with a hand tied behind your back sort of recipe. And because
apples are available all year round, you can make it any time of the year. But still, I always associate applesauce with autumn. And not an October has gone by, apple trees or no, that I have skipped making it.

Can anything compare with autumn in Michigan? It's the one season I really miss since I moved to Florida and I try very hard to arrange visits to Michigan family and friends in October. The smell of pine trees, beautiful red and gold leaves making the trees vivid and bright in the sunlight, pumpkins growing in fields, cider and donuts, chilly mornings, U of M football games (Go Blue!), tailgate parties, falling leaves swirling in the wind, my kids jumping in enormous piles of raked leaves. A new season. A new start. A new school year. Yup, I sure do remember that school part. ;)


My kids, in the Michigan days.

The kids always asked for applesauce- the fragrance of apples and spices cooking on the stove made everyone think of upcoming holidays. And I can still create that ambiance, even though I live in the south. Maybe we don't have apple trees, but we DO have apples.

Only those of you living in the south understand we have seasons too- they don't scream out quite like yours, but seasons just the same. Huh? Fall in Florida you ask? Well yes. It's more a state of mind than anything else but there are a few things we notice. The winds shift, the light changes as the days shorten- our temperatures stay in the 80's rather than the humid 90's. Last week I noticed our grocery store decked out its entrance with pumpkins and fake spider webs.




(Pumpkins and palms, side by side.)


We get into fall just like the rest of you with fall wreaths on our doors, scarecrows and corn cobs on our porches and pumpkins on our doorsteps. I know, it's only a mind set. But thank you September for finally arriving. And move on in, October! That's what I say. Bring on the fall....


Applesauce


         

Ingredients:
8 large apples, peeled, cored, sliced- leave the skins on- the redder the skin, the pinker the applesauce. (If you aren't lucky enough to have access to freshly picked apples, use 2 Gala, 2 Rome, 2 Red Delicious and 2 Fugi)
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon ( or to taste)
1/2 fresh lemon

Method:
Combine apples and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium. Cook until mushy, stirring often to prevent apples from sticking to bottom of the pan. It should take 20 to 30 min.




We like our applesauce smooth so I put my cooked apples through a food mill. ( If you don't have a mill, KitchenAid makes a sieve/grinder attachment which you may already have.) Press the apples through a food mill.






While still hot, add 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and the juice from 1/2 lemon. Sweeten to your own taste: I start with somewhat less than the 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar called for- much depends on the sweetness of the apples.

Cool and then refrigerate. Makes 6-8 cups.



You may store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. The rest I put in Ziploc freezer bags to store for the long-term. Homemade applesauce freezes great and when thawed, you’d never know it was frozen. I've kept some in the freezer for nearly a year. One little trick to save space: put some applesauce in freezer bags, lay them flat on a pan and freeze them. Once frozen, you can stack them up.

34 comments:

  1. Wow - the applesauce looks amazing! As much as I love warm weather, autumn is my favorite time of year. There's something about bundling up just a bit but not feeling as if I'm cocooned by winter clothes. I'd like to make some applesauce for my first time this year: I 'inherited' my foster grandmother's food mill and our apple tree yield an abundance of fruit this year (although we have no idea what kind it is). Thanks for sharing your lovely memories and recipe!

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  2. I definitely associate the beginning of autumn with apples especially in September. Your applesauce looks terrific!

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  3. i love the shot of your kids--that's awesome! i'm so thankful that i've always had homemade applesauce to eat--the storebought stuff just can't compare!

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  4. Oh, how I long for Autumn. I love homemade applesauce. Last time I made it, my main food critic (my one year old) snubbed his nose at it.

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  5. I love fresh applesauce. That shot of your kids is fabulous! It's the same thing in Texas--I made a fall wreath on a 90 degree day!

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  6. The change in seasons is the one thing I miss about the midwest! Plus friends, family and the macintosh apples! My hubby is a Michigan Alumni so thanks for the call out to the wolverines :)
    Thank you for stopping by my site, I hope to see you again.

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  7. This was a great introduction to Autumn! I love apple sauce too! Living in North Florida we do experience a mild change of seasons, even if we have to wait till early Nov to feel it.

    Great recipe for applesauce.

    Go Gators!

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  8. Nice! I haven't tried making applesauce, but would love to try. Thanks for giving us the recipe! :)

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  9. Autumn is my absolute favorite season. There's just something about it...relief from the heat, apples and pumpkins, and somehow it feels like the holidays will be here before we know it! I'm from NY lived in FL for 3 years so I completely know what you mean about Florida having its own seasons...and they are lovely! It's funny too, here in NY I probably would never have guessed I would wear a winter scarf in 50/40 degree weather...but in FL it felt downright cold and very necessary! :)

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  10. This looks delicious! - and I love the photo of your children.

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  11. mmmm homemade apple sauce is the best thing if you ask me! I love it when it's still warm!!

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  12. Hi Barbara,
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. I am glad to find yours as well.

    Love to see the photo of your children, they are good looking kids.

    Apple sauce sounds delicious.
    Cheers,
    elra

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  13. I don't know why I never make applesauce--you've inspired me, thanks. And, thanks for stopping by.

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  14. I love applesauce! What a great tutorial - oh and I love fall too!

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  15. I just found your blog. Did you grow up in Michigan? My grandparents and father did also - I have vacationed in Boyne City for over 25 years! Where were you at?

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  16. I love the darling photo of your kids and it looks as if they were having a blast at the time! There is a place about an hour from where I live called Apple Hill where you can travel from orchard to orchard this time of year and harvest your own apples, which I did with my grandparents each year. Like you, my grandma would make homemade applesauce that was out of this world. This wonderful post brought back memories!

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  17. the applesauce looks great!!! I love homemade applesauce even when there is some skin left in there, thats the best part for me!

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  18. I have a cake recipe which uses bought applesauce. So glad I found this recipe of yours as I can try making it instead of buying from the supermarket. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I will bookmark this to try out someday. Will let you know if I do.

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  19. Hi Barbara, I'm glad I've found your blog too. I'll try to go through all of them slow...ly, OK! Actually, I'm pretty excited with this apple sauce. It's not easy to get this in Asia country espcially small town like mine and that's why I bake a lot...he he!Thank you for sharing.

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  20. I live in Michigan and I am currently enjoying the beautiful fall weather and scenery! I can definitely relate to what you're saying. We're planning to visit an apple orchard this week and pick apples to make all kinds of apple-y things. And now I have a new applesauce recipe to try! Thanks! :)

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  21. Apples and applesauce are quintessential fall foods, no doubt! I love this post, it's so personal--something I always appreciate in a blog post. The photo of your children is incredible. Happy autumn!

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  22. Fall is definitely a state of mind here in Austin. But this year, some crazy cool weather blew in for a couple of days, and that just doesn't happen in Sept. Your applesauce sounds great and is perfect for fall!

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  23. Brilliant idea: what if we combined our shared love of apples and waffles into...apple waffles?

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  24. How I wish we got all those varieties of apples here. We do get some, but not all and they are SO expensive. I've had applesauce on my mind for this season as well! So delicious.

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  25. Never made apple sauce, I really should try it since there are lots and lots of apples in the market...thanks for the recipe :-)intraca

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  26. I grew up next to an apple orchard, but I never really loved apple sauce. I should give it a try again - I'm sure I'd love it now that I'm all grown up!

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  27. That photo of your kids is just absolutely perfect. My husband is a huge U of M fan (Go Blue indeed); I should make him some of this applesauce for the next game.

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  28. MMMMMMMMM,...your apple sauce sounds so good & tasty to me!!

    Yum!

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  29. Went apple picking just last week and picked the gala trees clean. I do need to make sauce and have everything but that mill. I think i will use my immersion blender. Hope it works!

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  30. Thank you for visiting my blog Barbara. I'm smitten by yours.
    That's such a joyful photo of your kids, and that apple sauce looks divine (I can smell the cinnamon..mmm)

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  31. Agreed. Nothing compares to a MI. autumn.

    I noticed the trees started turning a little earlier this year, which tends to get me as excited as your kids look in the photo above...except, I can no longer jump that high, without a trip to the emergency room.


    Your applesauce looks like such a warm, delicious treat.


    Btw, the palm trees alongside the pumpkin display made me smile.

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  32. I love your memories of Michigan, and I love that picture! This was a great post.

    I've been wanting to make applesauce for a while. Thank you for the recipes and tips.

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  33. My mom, who is a Michigan native just made her applesauce as well too. :)

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  34. I really appreciate your apple sauce. I used to have a small orchard (5 trees) one being apple. That one tree gave us apples for the year, also. It took quite a bit of space in my freezer but it was well worth it.

    Now that I do more baking, I would freeze apple pie or crisp filling.
    Alas, I no longer live there and the silly people that bought the house did not appreciate the trees and took every fruit tree down. It was a loss.

    Enjoy your apple sauce.

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