As I mentioned before, we take an annual trip to DK Orchards in Conklin, MI. And we love it! It’s a family-run establishment, and they act like it. They’re friendly, and they don’t charge admission (ahem-Klackle), and they have the best prices around here ($4.75/half-bushel this year).
So, this year we picked two bushels, and we will head back to pick maybe one more bushel in the next couple of weeks. So far, we have eaten lots, made only ONE pie filling to freeze, and made LOTS o’ applesauce! I’m going to be prepared when Baby J starts eating fruits! 🙂
I’ve made 4 large crockpots and 3 medium crockpots full, and it was SO EASY that I thought I’d share the process with you!
First, “I” rinsed and dried the apples. Actually, our three munchkins wanted to help, so (from right to left) Grace rinsed, Caleb dried, and Ava placed (read: dropped) the apples in a bowl.
Next, I used my handy-dandy peeler-corer-slicer. I could not do apple prep without this thing (at least not without complaining a lot – right, Luke?)! After they were peeled, cored, and sliced, I used a knife to cut through the middle to make half-slices.
Then I threw the prepped apples into the crockpot. When it was full, I added some water (1/2c – 1c).
Then I cooked them on low for a long time. Eight-ish hours? I tested them with a potato masher to make sure they were soft enough.
*I didn’t get a picture of this part, but I discovered this year that if I strain the apples before mashing them, guess what I get? Fresh, hot cider!!! My hubby loves cider, so this was a very happy discovery! Basically I just put my mesh strainer into a bowl and poured the cooked apples in. After the cider was strained out, I proceeded to the next step…
Edit: Just found out Luke doesn’t actually like the “cider” from this process. It might be the variety of apples, or maybe something else, but he thinks it tastes funny. Oh, well, I guess.
If you want chunky sauce, I would recommend just using the masher to squish it up. Since I wanted mine pureed for baby food and to use in recipes, I dumped the apples in my blender and pureed for about 10 seconds.
And we have APPLESAUCE! Yay!
You may have noticed that I did not add any sugar or cinnamon. You can definitely add it, but the sauce is actually quite sweet as it is. We will most likely add cinnamon sometimes when we serve it.
To store the applesauce, I used freezer jam jars and applied labels (made on my computer). I will also freeze some in ice cube trays and then put the applesauce cubes into a gallon-size baggie to store. Then I can pull a couple of cubes out to thaw for Jaden’s meals. (Since we have an ice-maker in our fridge/freezer, I actually only own one ice-cube tray that makes heart-shaped cubes! I hope to pick up some regular trays soon! I’m thinking WalMart or dollar store?) 🙂
So, there you have it! A fun, frugal Rumley tradition!