Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall favorites -- apples

A couple of weeks ago, a very generous friend brought me a five-gallon bucket full of apples. After a bit of work washing and quartering...

....they were ready to be turned into beautiful, Red Hot applesauce!

And, because I know you are going to ask:
  1. Wash, peel, core, and chunk up or slice your apples. {Only washing and quartering are necessary if you have a food mill!}
  2. Over medium high heat in a large stockpot filled with a couple inches of water, cook your apples down until they are soft enough to either be mashed manually or put through your mill. I always used an old fashioned potato masher until I got my mill. It worked great, and gave a nice, semi-chunky consistency! I do not drain the water I cook the apples in. It will cook down quickly, so leaving the water in allows you to choose how thick you want your applesauce. If you like it a bit thinner, you can be done right here--a bit thicker, and you can just cook it down for a few minutes!
  3. After the apples are mashed/ground down to an applesauce consistency, return them to a large pot (pictured above--I do this in batches because I make so much at a time) and add Red Hot candies. For the 21 pints you see in the photo (plus two 8-cup containers that I kept uncanned for eating RIGHT NOW *yum*), I used seven theater-sized boxes of Red Hots (which don't contain nearly as much as you might think-I'd say there was maybe 3/4 cup in each box.)

The Red Hots give a wonderful cinnamon flavor and a great pinkish-red color. You can add more or less to your taste--but remember, start with less! You can always add more Red Hots, but you can't take them out once they are in there!  I added less this year than I usually do, and we liked the sauce just as much as we always have.

If you try this for yourself, let me know how you liked it!


Julie said...

Yum! I *almost* made red hot applesauce when I made mine, but I didn't feel like running out to the store. Now I wish I had! :0) Bummer!

On another note, why do you take the rings off the jars? I've heard you were supposed to do that, but I never have. What's the point behind it?

Nancy said...

Mmmm....we made red hot applesauce for the first time this year. Yummy! I don't think we'll ever make it plain again! :)