Thursday, September 24, 2009

Things I love Thursday: Red Hot Applesauce

I mentioned on Facebook this morning that I was going to spend some time today making one of my favorite Fall things: Red Hot Applesauce.

Then, I read this post over at the Diaper Diaries, and thought, "Hmmmm....I could share with everyone my love of Red Hot Applesauce, and gain an extra entry to win a Halo Sleepsack . . . . suh-weet!"

So, here I am, sharing with you something I truly love for Things I love Thursday. (If you'd like to join the carnival or enter the contest as well, just head on over to the Diaper Diaries yourself!)

Let me just say: I look forward to making this all year. It's that delicious.

The great thing, too, is that the recipe could not be any simpler. The hardest part, truly, is peeling, coring, and slicing all of the apples--but I picked up this handy tool at a garage sale last summer, and it has made cooking 'all things apple' infinitely easier! I got the stand and the corer for $5, which is an incredible deal. After using it again today, I would say if you are an 'all things apple' lover like I am and make things like applesauce, apple pies, or apple butter every year, this product is worth the full-price investment.

"If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

Name that movie.

Sorry. I digress.

Anyway, the recipe.

By the way, I am not much for measurements when I cook.

I'm more of a "fly by the seat of my pants kinda gal, you know, moment to moment....that's me....that's....yeah."

Sorry. I did it again. Geesh.

Anyway, I'll give you my best guess approximates on these amounts.

You will need:

  • Apples. I have always used Golden Delicious for this recipe.
  • Red Hot Candies. I buy the large, 2.75 pound bag. It makes a few batches of applesauce.
  • possibly sugar
  • possibly water

I say 'possibly' because I have never used either of those things--my apples have never stuck to my pot (that's what you would need the water for--to keep them from sticking on the bottom) and with the Red Hots, the applesauce has never had the need for additional sugar. But everyone has different preferences of sweetness, and not everyone uses non-stick cookware, so have both of those on hand when you make this.

Peel, core, and thinly slice your apples. I simply use as many apples as I can possibly fit into my 7-quart pot. It will cook way down. Cook your apples over medium-low heat with the lid on for awhile, stirring every few minutes. They should start to soften up after about 30 minutes, but won't completely break down for at least an hour or so. Stir the pot often, and you will begin to notice that, as you are stirring, the apples are already turning into a 'mush' consistency.

Mush. Mmmmmmmm. Doesn't that sound yummy?

Once the apples have started to break down, add your Red Hots. I add about two handfuls to start, and go from there. Stir them in. The heat will begin to break them down as well, and they will add a beautiful red color to your sauce!

Let these cook a little while, until you aren't seeing too many large chunks of apple any longer. Once all the Red Hot pieces and most of the apple chunks are gone, I take a regular ol' potato masher--fancy, I'm aware, but it works--and mash all the remaining lumps that I can find.

Some would say that you need to press the apple mixture through a food mill or a sieve to get the 'proper' applesauce consistency. I say, a little lump here and there never hurt anyone, and I don't have the time nor the patience to push things through sieves when I cook. Ahem.

Now, it's time for the best part.

The taste test.

If the sauce is not sweet or 'cinnamon-y' enough for you, simply add more Red Hots! (This is why I would caution you to go with less, rather than more, at first--you can always add, but you can never take away!)

If you'd like, you can can the applesauce right then and there. Process for 20 minutes (following all instructions for canning that are found in this book) in a boiling water canner.

I'm finding that, after my first batch today, it's looking like I'm going to need another batch if I want to can this stuff. Between me, Cameron, and Ethan, we've had seven helpings--yes, seven, and I was only responsible for TWO of them, thankyouverymuch--since around 11:30 this morning. After hubby and Colin get home, I'm fairly certain there won't be enough left to can.

Note to self: Go back to the orchard for more apples and more Red Hots.

Hope you enjoy the recipe! Let me know if you try it and love it as much as we do!


Amy said...

Sounds yummy. I'll have to try this out.

Jana said...

That is my kind of recipe!!! Thanks!

thediaperdiaries said...

How bout you make some for me and ship it over. That sounds super yummy!! And I like a little bit of lumpiness in my homemade applesauce.

Mary Ann said...

Sounds delish! My mom makes a recipe with applesauce, red hots, & any kind of red jello. Put it all together & let it set & voila! Very yummy!
I, too love all things apple & I am hoping to go apple picking very soon!

Sandy said...

Devin, I am blessed enough to have the attachment for applesauce for my kitchenaid mixer. This saves me from needing to peel the apples. I just have to rinse them and core them before cooking, then send them through the mixer. It takes the peel right out. But I am definitely going to try the red hots..sounds soooo good!

Jay said...

Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Challenge me.

Oh and I'm not sold on the red hot apple sauce yet.