The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Skin-on apple sauce

Cutting up applesIn my early childhood memories, it seems like my mother was always cutting up apples.  Perhaps she was carefully removing the skins so that my younger sister could wrap her toothless mouth around them (allowing me to eat the parts left behind.)  Or maybe Mom was making a "Dan'l Boone apple pie" --- whole wheat crust with barely a hint of butter, apples cored but not peeled, filling mildly sweetened with a dab of honey.  Often, though, it seemed like she was just cutting up apples to be cutting them up, and she never minded me snagging one or two or ten out of her bowl.

Skin-on apple sauceMom's apple sauce was simply stewed apples, skins left on.  Although I heartily approve of eating fruits and vegetables skin-on so that you don't lose the vitamins, I like the texture of skinless apple sauce (which can easily be made at home by stewing apple wedges, then passing them through a Foley mill to remove the skins.)  I invited Mom over to help me cut up our scavenged apples, then experimented with various methods of making skin-on apple sauce.

The best method seemed to be --- cut the apples into quarters, removing the cores; cook in a pot with some water until the apple meat begins to fall off the skins; then blend in the food processor.  You're less likely to scorch the bottom of the pan if you cook up your apple sauce in a skillet rather than a pot and fill at least a couple of inches in the bottom of Apple tree with fruitthe pan with water.  The result is very much like storebought apple sauce in texture, but with flecks of skin here and there.  (The photo above shows the result of my experiment.)

I'd be curious to hear if anyone else has a different method of creating skin-on apple sauce.  Meanwhile, if you're overflowing in scavenged apples (and you should be --- it's that time of year), you might want to check out a post I made a couple of years ago about how to make apple cider in a juicer.

Our homemade chicken waterer is a great gift for the backyard chicken keeper in your family.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I make apple sauce by quartering the apples and stewing them, cores, skins and all, in my slowcookers. When they're soft, I run them through the victorio stlye strainer, and the seeds, hard bits and peels come out one side, and the good sauce runs out the chute. The chickens LOVE the waste.

There should be pics on my blog sometime last fall (I'd say Oct). I'd give you a link, but I'm on the wrong computer, and it's no good at multiple windows and link copying.

Comment by Bethany James Wed Sep 15 09:54:07 2010
That sounds like an even easier way of making skin-off apple sauce than the foley mill method. Thanks for sharing!
Comment by anna Wed Sep 15 13:53:08 2010
My sister makes fresh apple sauce by quartering and de-coring the apples and microwaving them in a bowl until the apples are cooked.
Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Sep 15 13:59:59 2010
That sounds a lot like my mom's apple sauce, but using the microwave instead of the stove. (Mom never has been partial to the microwave...)
Comment by anna Wed Sep 15 14:03:07 2010
I see tons of trees around my neighborhood with spotted apples falling to the ground. Can I use those for applesauce or cider?
Comment by Fostermamas Wed Sep 15 17:51:55 2010
You sure can! With cider, it's best to mix apples from different trees, to give your cider a more complex flavor. Some apple trees (usually those that came up from seeds) tend to have bland fruit, in which case you might need to add a bit of lemon juice (or crab apples, or quince) to the apple sauce to give it zing.
Comment by anna Wed Sep 15 18:36:24 2010
I knocked on a few doors today and ended up with about 5 bushels of three different apple types. I have a crabapple tree in the back I'm off to read your cider post!
Comment by Fostermamas Thu Sep 16 14:10:20 2010
Great work! I'll look forward to hearing how your experiment turns out. Crab apples are great since you can use them as a source of pectin for jelly too.
Comment by anna Thu Sep 16 14:18:59 2010
If you take some pictures, I'd love to have a guest post from you telling about your adventures scrounging apples!
Comment by anna Thu Sep 16 14:19:55 2010

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