As I shared before, I went hiking and came home with 13 pounds of apples. A bunch of these beauties were eaten out of hand but most of them were preserved. With an early batch of apples, I had already made dried apple rings and apple preserves/jam. I wanted to try some different options this time.
Applesauce was at the top of the list. I haven't been much of an applesauce consumer in the past but recently that has been changing. I've enjoyed mixing it into oatmeal, spreading it on pancakes and am interested in making more baked goods with applesauce. Perhaps the reason behind my burgeoning love of applesauce is a few delicious jars of sauce from Jamie and her mom, Charleen. As with many things, homemade applesauce is a million times better than store bought. This is especially true when you start with delicious and complex apples and don't add sugar to the sauce. So, if I want to increase my applesauce intake, I need to get a little stockpile of homemade sauce in my pantry. I started by cutting 6 pounds of apples into big chunks without peeling or coring them.
I put the apples into a big electric roaster along with cinnamon sticks, ginger slices a bit of water and some lemon juice. After a day of cooking down and occasional stirring along the way, the apples were soft.
I busted out my brand new food mill, washed it with soap and water and set to milling the cooked apples. Here is where things went downhill. The food mill was secretly releasing some sort of lubricant on the underside as I milled the apples through it. I noticed when I set it down on a plate to add more apples into it. When I picked it up, there was a little pool of grey applesauce on the plate! Yuck!
At this point, after investing hours into this sauce, I was not happy to see it get ruined. I tried to salvage it by scooping out any suspicious looking sauce from the bowl of apples that had already been milled and transferring the yet-to-be-milled apples to a wire mesh colander. I would have liked to just stop right there and accept a chunky sauce but, since I opted to leave the cores in while cooking it down, it had to be milled. I ended up using a spatula to push the sauce through the colander, hopefully filtering out the seeds and hard bits. It was irritating, to say the least.
In the end, my efforts and my 6 pounds of apples became 2 pints of sauce; sauce that may or may not be tainted with lubricant. I won't be making applesauce again anytime soon. Plus, now I am super leery of using my new food mill. Hopefully I will be the recipient of some more delicious applesauce from Jamie and/or Charleen come Christmas time this year.
After the sauce fiasco, I still had a few pounds of apples left. I wanted to preserve them, but wanted to try something interesting. Coincidentally, my friend Holly found an intriguing recipe for Sweet and Spicy Apple Slices and passed it on to me at just the right time. I haven't cracked these open yet, but I am definitely enjoying looking at them. The floating slices and spices are quite pretty. I'll bet the apple slices themselves will be tasty, but I am mostly looking forward to trying out uses for the syrup in the jar.