Applesauce is one of those staples that can be really useful as the year goes by, especially in alternative and sugar reduced baking.
Most of us have heard of serving applesauce with pork roast (or roasted goose in Europe) even if you don’t personally eat pork. But do you know the reason for this? The acids in apples ( tartaric and malic ) help to regulate the acidity in a stomach and aid in the digestion of fats and proteins. If you have a slowcooker try cooking your pork pieces directly in applesauce with a hit of BBQ sauce on top once finished.
While in Katmandu, Nepal, the doctor, who was helping the members of our group with a local version of Montezuma’s Revenge, successfully prescribed applesauce for the situation. You can also find freshly grated apples suggested for times when babies experience diarrhea.
Folk remedies additionally suggest that cooked apples assist in promoting restful sleep and calming anxiety.
A favourite for adding flavour and moistness to pancakes, muffins, bread and cakes, applesauce can also work as a substitute for eggs, butter, oil and sugar, making a healthier finished product when baking.
Unsweetened applesauce can be exchanged one to one for sugar but it is also important to reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by about 1/4 cup.
Replace 1/2 cup butter with an equal amount of applesauce. Replacing more will make for a denser finished product but will also cut more fat and calories.
Try changing out 1/4 cup applesauce for each egg when baking quick breads.
Applesause is practically a must for latkas (potato pancakes), a tasty addition to spiced bread pudding and a surprise layer of flavour to mac & cheese. Have I convinced you yet that having some on hand is a good idea?
Two questions will determine how to proceed. Do you like your applesauce smooth or chunky? What apples do you prefer to make applesauce from?
Summer apples generally do not store long term and will turn mushy pretty quickly when cooked. These are the types of apples I use when making smooth applesauce. Other options considered good for applesauce are Braeburn, Cortland, Crispin, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Gravenstein, Jonamac, Liberty and McIntosh.
The list is by no means complete and you may have access to some varieties not readily available in a market through hertitage trees in a neighbours yard. The choice of apple will determine if apple sauce making happens early, mid or late summer. For chunkier apple sauce I wait until a little later in the year and that applesauce is the peel, core and chop method.
Add no more than 1/4 cup water to get the process going. Put the lid on and apply a low heat to the pot.
As the apples cook the volume will reduce and the apples will brown, a little lemon juice can help stop that but this apple sauce will be for winter baking so it is not a priority. Stir intermittently making sure the bottom does not burn.
Now I want to show you my wonderful Foley Food Mill. These are coming up on their 90th birthday and production stopped in the 1970’s so to find one, a Saturday morning visit to an antique store may be in order.
Transfer the cooked apple mixture into the Foley which is sitting on top of a bowl. No it is not electric. There is manual handle turning involved. Get the kids to help? However, since the apples are already soft, it will be finished in no time.
Turn the handle two or three time in one direction and then reverse direction for a turn before continuing. This will release anything caught underneath the scraper.
The cooked apple is forced through the small holes at the bottom of the mill which separates the sauce from the skins, cores and seeds.
I love my Nutri Bullet for making smoothies and grinding nuts but the fact that a Foley food mill is not connected to a power grid and still does a great job is pleasing to my soul.
I left this applesauce unsweetened because it gives more flexibility in future useage. If sugared applesauce is your preference now is the time to add it in.
Applesauce can be frozen flat in bags for easy stacking or canned. Canning however, means no need to plan ahead or remember to take the applesauce out for timely thawing. What can I say, I turn 60 next month. It also leaves room for other things that do better in the freezer.
So whether the plan is to add some to a winter tummy warming dish, resolve a health situation in need of some TLC or just enjoy because of their connection to love, batches of homemade applesauce are something I definitely stock in my pantry.
Smooth Homemade Applesauce from My Kitchen Wand