We love apple picking at the Suderman pond.. but we aren't there right now. Thanks to my neighbor, we still experienced our annual applesauce making.
If you have never made applesauce, it is the easiest thing ever, and a healthy way to use up a whole bunch of apples. If you have a sieve, you can cut up the whole apple and put it in the pot. I, however, did not, so I peeled and cored the apples.
You can add water, but it is not necessary if you cook them on a very low temperature in order to release the juices slowly before the apples start to mush. If you think the sauce is getting too thick, you can add water in small increments to achieve desired consistency.
If you want to make applesauce with kids, there are some really neat things to talk about while cooking. Here is a recipe and some ideas:
- Wash and cut up apples. Place in large sauce pan, cover, and put on the stove on low heat.
- Wait. You can set the oven timer for 10 minutes to remind yourself to stir occasionally. It will take about an hour to complete the batch of applesauce.
- The next step is your choice. You can eat the sauce just the way it is, which may be the healthiest option, or you can add sugar and cinnamon or other fruits to add flavor.
- If you wish to use a sieve, mush it through the holes to get a nice even texture and to leave behind any unwanted parts of the apple.
- Refrigerate and enjoy!
Applesauce and apple facts:
- Apples have natural sugars in them, so applesauce can be sweet without adding extra sugars. This is probably the healthiest way to eat applesauce.
- An apple that is nice and crisp have strong cell walls made of pectin. When the apples are cooked, the cell walls break down and pectin is released. The apples get mushy, but as pectin cools, it forms a kind of gel.
- Apples that are more ripe sometimes get mushy too, just like if it were cooked.
- Pectin can be extracted from apples and other fruits to make foods like jelly so that they have a gel like consistency.
- Apples have fiber, which is healthy for you. Cooking the apples and releasing pectin actually provide more fiber than a whole apple.
- Apples also have plenty of juice within their cells. This juice is what is leftover when we get rid of the pectin, seeds, skin, and any other fibrous parts. You can get juice from your applesauce by letting it filter through a cloth.
- Apples with different colored skin taste different, too. Some are sweet while others are more tart. It might be fun to have an apple taste test to see which is your favorite. My kids like red delicious best.
- Applesauce can be used as a healthier way to cook some foods, such as cake. It is moist and the pectin can provide a nice consistency. It also has a good flavor.
- Before making the applesauce, cut it in half to see a seed star.
- Many times, it is more fun to eat foods that you picked with your own hands. Try to find a place to pick apples in the fall.