Apples! The fruit is synonymous with Washington State, schoolteachers, and American pie patriotism. According to the Washington State Apple Commission, did you know apples originated in Kazakhstan? Over 2,500 varieties are grown in the United States and they are Washington State’s largest agricultural crop. And if you placed Washington’s apples side-by-side, they would circle the earth 29 times. That’s a load of apples to handpick! What do some Washingtonians do with all those apples?
Every fall, between Labor Day and mid-October, my husband and I drive through the Cascade mountain range to Eastern Washington to admire the autumn leaves and to retrieve freshly harvested Golden Delicious apples to make applesauce. Here’s an easy method I use.
Pick the apples from a tree, or…
Purchase a box of apples from a local fruit stand or grocer. I’ve used several varieties, but I prefer Golden Delicious apples. They taste great and the sauce produced is a nice consistency with little waste after straining the cooked fruit. A 25 lb. box equals approximately 10 quarts of sauce for canning or freezing. I freeze mine. Much easier!
Wash the apples in cold water.
Cut each apple into quarters.
Fill a large stock pot and two additional 2-quart saucepans with the apples and add water to fill the pot one-third full. Cover and cook on medium-high heat until the apples are soft and easy to mash, adding water if needed to keep the apples from sticking to the bottom of the pan. If you find you have too much water remaining, simply uncover the pot and continue to cook, stirring as necessary, to thicken the sauce.
Scoop the hot apple mixture, a portion at a time, from the pot into a strainer over a large bowl. I keep a second large bowl handy to dispose of the waste and rest the strainer while I ladle the fresh-made sauce into clean, waiting freezer containers.
At this point, some people like to add cinnamon or sugar to their sauce, but it depends on the variety of apple and personal taste. Golden Delicious applesauce is naturally sweet.
I like to eat applesauce as a snack or serve it as a fancy dessert.
What ways have you served applesauce? Have you made it from scratch? What apples and method did you use? I hope you enjoyed my mini-lesson on how to make a healthy, autumn treat the whole family can enjoy. Leave a comment to enter this week’s giveaway.
*This article appeared first on Stitches Thru Time.