In an earlier blog post, I mentioned an easy way to make applesauce using a cool colander that our family used in my childhood. All the recipes I found mentioned the tedious way. Here’s how to make it without peeling or coring the apples.
- any quantity ripe apples
- fresh-squeezed lemon juice, enough to add 1 tsp to top of each jar
- water to cook the apples (about an inch at the bottom of the pot)
- chop apples into inch-sized chunks, removing blemishes, blossom end, seeds and stems
- cook apples until soft in about an inch of water
- strain sauce using colander
- add 1 tsp of lemon juice to top of pint (nearly 2 cups) jar before sealing
- if canning, process for 15 minutes in hot water bath
The original colander is aluminum, not ideal, but the processing time is quick. We lost track of our family colander, but I found one on eBay. A new stainless steel product is available on Amazon, but the stand doesn’t give enough room for a medium bowl to collect the sauce.
If you’re making a bit of applesauce to use right away, it’s ready to enjoy after straining it.
For home canning, note that recipes differ on the processing time. My go-to handbook, Joy of Cooking, says ten minutes, and I made a successful batch two years ago with that time frame. But other recipes require twenty minutes. The National Center for Home Food Preservation requires fifteen minutes. This organization based in the United States is focused on safe home canning, so I went with their time frame.
I’m used to working with wormy apples! It just means cutting out some messy bits. Why bother? You know where they came from. They’re usually organic, with no bees harmed by pesticides in growing them. It’s also satisfying to use garden produce. And the result tastes great. It is not likely overcooked or watered down as when you buy it premade.
My father gave me a box of apples from his tree. I look forward to them every year. They’re a bit tart for eating fresh, but lovely for applesauce. I let the green apples ripen in a single layer for a couple of weeks. Every day I put the ripe apples into the fridge, and composted any with signs of rot. The house had a lovely apple-pie aroma while the fruit was ripening.
I use applesauce to bake a favourite chocolate mint cake, and sometimes add it to my morning oatmeal. It can be eaten as a snack on its own. No sugar is added, and it doesn’t seem to need any.
- Irene Plett
Topics: Recipes, Food Preservation, Home Canning, Applesauce, Apples
Irene Plett is a writer, poet and animal lover living in South Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.