Brett is related to Johnny Appleseed. I kid you not. This may be one reason I felt so compelled to be a good steward of the fruit tree bestowed upon us with the rental of this house. We didn't know what the yard had in store for us when we moved in as it was mostly under a layer of snow but it's been pleasant surprise after pleasant surprise as the two plum trees and apple tree have blossomed and yielded a happy little harvest.
I didn't have to twist any arms to get some help on this project because they were both intrigued by the new gadgets. I picked up this Apple Master from Ace Hardware when I went in to buy a food mill and I'm so glad I did because it saved us time and was so fun. It took me back to our days visiting Apple Hill in Northern California as kids.
The applesauce recipe we used came from this informative site and it calls for leaving the skins on but we couldn't resist testing out the peeler. You can see all three features of this little machine in the photo above. It can peel, slice, and core and-after getting the apple situated on the prong-is safe enough for kids to work. Also, I geeked out over this thing. I'm sure my grandparents will find it amusing that such an old-fashioned contraption is getting such a response. WHY HAVE WE NEVER OWNED ONE BEFORE THIS WEEK?
After cutting up a significant amount of apples we settled them in a pot with about 1.5" of water at the bottom (the recipe suggests apple juice as an option) and set it to boil. I added a healthy amount of cinnamon as these apples were a bit more tangy than sweet and covered it until it was boiling. Then I brought the heat down to medium-high as the recipe called for and let them steam for another ten minutes before checking to see if they were soft.
Our house smelled delicious!
I purchased this food mill to help separate and puree the steamed apples. I set it over a large Pyrex bowl and then filled it halfway with apples. After grinding them down a few times I'd press things down with a potato masher and grind again. This part was a little tedious but not hard and my bowl filled up twice!
I bought two 32oz. Ball mason jars at Ace to store the applesauce. I wasn't prepared to invest in canning equipment since we won't live here forever but I do plan on making as much as I can and freezing some. Our neighbors will be getting some soon, too! I may need to grab a few more jars just in case because everyone at our house likes applesauce.
I've heard people mention apple butter and I've recently seen a recipe on Pinterest for apple pancakes but what are your favorite baked apple treats?