The first step to making applesauce is having the right apples.  I insist on using Michigan apples.  I have yet to find better apples anywhere else.  So while I was back home in Michigan this weekend I picked up some supplies.

You can get good apples at the farmer’s market or any Meijer, but I prefer Robinette’s.  I prefer Robinette’s apples because I used to work there.  In fact, it was my first job.  When I was 15 I spent part of my summer and fall bagging apples and making cider.  It was a lot of fun and I got to sample every type of apple as well as a number of rejected baked goods (slightly burned donuts, brownies that weren’t quite right.  It was heaven).  So I know I’m getting quality apples when I go to Robinette’s.  They are always large and crisp.  And the cider is perfect.  Not too tart, not too sweet.  It makes the local apple orchard in Iowa City look like a garbage dump.

For applesauce you are going to want McIntosh apples.  I don’t know why.  One of the great things about applesauce is that it doesn’t require many ingredients.  All you need is water, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apples.  The recipe I use off the internet calls for

  • 4 apples – peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Today I quadrupled the recipe.  That’s 16 apples for all you math nerds.  The first step is to artfully arrange all your equipment and ingredients so you can take fancy pictures for some reason.

Behold!

The candles are not part of the recipe.

I may have gotten a little carried away with the artful arrangements and pictures.

Moving on!

Unfortunately you can’t just do this:

Applesauce doesn’t work that way.  First you have to laboriously peel and core each apple.  Some of you may have fancy food mills and peeling and coring machines.  Good for you.  Your life is easy.  Be careful when you are peeling the apples.  They tend to get a bit slick and will occasionally fall into the trash.  That’s okay.  A little rotten Mexican food and cat hair in your applesauce won’t hurt anything.

While you are peeling your apples I suggest some background music or NPR.  You will be peeling for a while so it’s best to keep yourself entertained.  Once you have peeled an apple you need to core it and slice it.  That’s what this thing is for.

If you don’t have one of these fancy little devices I suggest you get one.  They are cheap.  It took me about a half an hour to get through 16 apples.  Not too bad.

Before you peel any apples you should probably prepare all of the other ingredients so you can just put the apples right into the pot once they are ready.  I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but I forgot.  Now you have a bunch of apple slices browning on a counter top.  Whoops.  So lets go back in time to just before you peeled, cored, and sliced all those apples.

Get out a good sized pot and put the water in.

This may be the most boring picture in human history

Then add the sugar.

Sugar waterfall!

Then add the cinnamon.

Cinnamon waterfall!

Now you are ready to add all of your apple slices.

Turn the heat to medium and put a lid over the pot.

This one comes in a close second for "Most Boring Picture" award

The recipe I used said to let it cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Since I quadrupled the recipe I had to let it go an extra 15 minutes and stir it from time to time.

While you are waiting for the apples to cook it’s time sample your other apple goodies.

Check on the apples periodically.  Poke them with a fork to see how soft they are.

Once they are done they will probably look something like this:

Now, the recipe said to let them cool before smashing, but that could take days and I’m too impatient.

This is one of my favorite pieces of kitchen equipment

Jason SMASH!

After a while you may get sick of smashing.  That is a good time to remember you have an immersion blender.

This may also be the moment when you realize why the recipe said to wait until it had cooled.  Immersion blenders have a tendency to splatter if you’re not paying attention.  And molten apple does not feel very good on the skin.

And there you have it.  Applesauce!

If you’re like me, then you just made more applesauce than any one person can eat in a month.  Time to go hunting for storage containers! (Don’t worry, it freezes well).

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