5 Ingredients or Fewer

Mom's Applesauce

December 31, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Margot Mustich
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • makes about one quart
Author Notes

Call me old-fashioned. I still make my own applesauce, just like my mother and my grandmother did. Now, you can too. The trick is to cook tart, highly colored apples—like Empires or Ida Reds—with the skins on and to purée them by hand through a food mill. The skins, stems, and seeds stay behind, but the sauce retains the blush of the fruit. Not only will you get a delicious treat, but you’ll also fill the kitchen with the irresistible aroma of another era. I generally don’t feel the need to add any sugar or lemon juice to my applesauce, but you might want to, depending on each batch of apples. Chill the cooled sauce first. Then, taste and add granulated sugar or lemon juice as you see fit just before serving. —Margot Mustich

What You'll Need
  • 6 large apples
  • cold water
  • granulated sugar to taste (optional)
  • granulated sugar to taste (optional) fresh lemon juice to taste (optional)
  1. Wash the apples. Cut them in half any way you like and put them in a 5- or 6-quart heavy saucepan. Add cold water to the pot to come about half as high as the apples.
  2. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the apples are completely soft and mushy through to the cores—about an hour. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before going on to the next step.
  3. Purée the apples using a hand-cranked food mill fitted with the blade with the finest holes: spoon some apples into the top of the mill, turn the crank until the fruit has passed through the straining blade. Spoon in some more of the apples, and repeat until all of the sauce is strained. Discard what’s left in the top of the food mill.
  4. Cool the applesauce, uncovered, until it reaches room temperature. Then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  5. Serve cold with pork chops, potato latkes, gingerbread, or all by itself.

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