It’s a fortunate thing that summer is followed by all the cool things fall brings. Summer is hands-down my favorite season… but there are some things I have definitely been looking forward to.
Like football, and apple season. :)
I should really give myself more credit on the recipe front, because I actually do have a couple of tricks in the kitchen. I mean – nothing compared to you foodie mamas, of course, but I have a decent collection of simple recipes that I can share. I’m sure there are other mamas like me out there with no patience for cooking. But – that doesn’t mean we can’t still impress with a house that smells terrific with minimal effort. :)
So I haven’t yet had the chance to go apple-picking, but Michigan apples are at least at in-season prices in the stores now. I paid $1.29 for a 3-lb bag of Jonamac’s which is a pretty decent deal considering what you can do with it.
Apple recipes can be tough, because apples vary so much in size, so I have always worked off of 3 lbs. as my frame of reference. I halved mine… half for Raya, half for me. :)
The adult version:
3 lbs. apples, cored and peeled (the worst part of the whole recipe – ugh, tedious!)
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. sugar
2 c. water
(The baby version just has apples and water – though if you have given your baby cinnamon already, you can add it in before cooking. I do give Raya cinnamon, but I mix apples in with so many other foods that I leave them plain when I’m making them to keep my options open. You just want to avoid adding additional sugar to baby recipes whenever possible!)
Add everything to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and turn down to simmer over medium heat for 20-30 minutes. I don’t usually bother to stir it.
Here’s the part where I always think of my dear Gram. :) She’s the one who taught me, “you cook with your nose”. Did anyone else ever hear this growing up?
Once the water has boiled down, the sugar will begin to cook. You will smell the difference, it will go from a cinnamon smell to a distinctly sweet baked-goods smell. It happens between 20-30 minutes. If you take it off the heat too early, you will have watery applesauce. If you leave it too long, it will begin to scorch. If you are unsure, you can check your pan by stirring it – just see if there’s water left and whether the apples begin to break apart.
This is what they look like when they’re done (well, you will have twice as many, Raya gets the other half of mine):
Sort of carmelized, and very much like pie filling. Stir. They should fall apart pretty easily.
I stop here; this is the texture I like. But for those who prefer something more smooth, you may want to use a potato masher or even your mixer.
Mmmm, heavenly. And still warm!
I put Raya’s into the food processor. The texture comes out smoother than the stuff from the jar at the store. Her 1 1/2 lbs. of apples made about 18 oz. of baby food, to give you an idea. So that meant 2 oz. for lunch, and 16 oz. to freeze for later.
And we ladies enjoyed a lovely applesauce lunch.
I link to these fabulous parties!