|pan full of apple chunks (photo by jhy)|
pan with a tight lid
potato masher or strong fork
This is actually my preferred method of making applesauce. Since almost all the apples I use are free, low-quality apples, I would have to do a lot of trimming anyway, and I think it's just easier to peel and core them as well. The food mill is a lot of mess (in my opinion).
Peel, core, and remove bad spots from the apples. There is no set amount- it makes no difference, but you wouldn't want to fill a pan to the very top. You need some expansion and stirring space for cooking.
Place the apple chunks (I cut apples into quarters if small, or eighths if larger) in the pan, and add just a skim of water to the pan. Really, just a tiny bit. In this 6-quart saucepan I used maybe a quarter-cup of water. This is just enough to get the juices to start flowing in the apples with out burning.
Put the cover on the pan and place over the lowest heat possible. Check in about 5 minutes. Remove the cover, and the apples should have started creating their own liquid. At this point you can raise the heat a little bit, but keep it no higher than medium. Leave the lid off, and continue cooking until the apples are soft. Stir occasionally to redistribute the apples at the top down into the liquid.
When the apples are soft- usually in 5-10 minutes, use a potato masher to turn them into sauce. You can leave it as chunky as you like.
|homemade applesauce- this batch is quite chunky (photo by jhy)|
The flavor of the applesauce will depend on the variety of apples used. It's up to you- sweet or tart- or just whatever you can get! Sweeten to taste and/or add a dash or cinnamon or nutmeg.