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Thread: Which kind of apples for homemade applesauce?

  1. #1
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    Question Which kind of apples for homemade applesauce?

    I'm wanting to make some applesauce to freeze in my new chest freezer. What variety of apple works/tastes best? I like smooth applesauce, no chunks. I'm leaning towards granny smith.

  2. #2
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    I'm still sort of new in the homemade applesauce game.

    I have had such success using Red Delicious apples that I haven't experimented much further, but I have noticed that there are differences in their suitability for applesauce.

    I like the way the Red Delicious applesauce tastes, the way the skins tinge the whole thing a nice pinky color, the texture, etc.

    Granny Smith applesauce is paler, (more yellow green than pinkish) a bit sharper in flavor, depending on the maturity of the apples used, and I like it when served with roast pork. I tend to flavor this kind with less lemon juice than I might with another variety of apple. (Something about the tangyness goes well with the savory meat, but I don't want to overdo it.) Maybe the texture is different too, a bit firmer or something? This might have more to do with my food mill than the apples, I'm not sure.

    I've got some Mackintosh apples that I'm going to use for my next batch. I'll gladly post my opinions it you'd like to hear them.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  3. #3
    Lisa, I've made applesauce with all different kinds of apples, and they've all turned out tasty.

    I think you can have success with any apple; with very tart apples you may want to add a little more sweetener. But I'm interested to hear opinions from more seasoned applesauce makers!

    If you like a very smooth applesauce, you can't beat a food mill for pureeing! I bought mine just for applesauce. I don't even have to peel the apples... just core, halve, and throw in the pot. The food mill separates out the skins (which give the sauce a nice rosy color if you use red apples) and gives a perfectly smooth puree.

  4. #4
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    I like to use Braeburn or Fuji apples for cooking or baking. They have less water in them, and the flavor seems more concentrated. Just my $.02

    Lara

  5. #5
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    I just made applesauce last night in the crockpot, for the first time. I used Gala apples - they are somewhat sweeter than Red Delicious or Granny Smith - so I didn't need to add any sugar, only a little bit of water and some cinnamon. I peeled and cored them since I don't have a food mill and after they cooked overnight I just mashed them a little with a fork. It left some chunks, but I like it that way. I'm sure you could use a potato masher or something to get it real smooth, if you prefer it that way.

    I'm having a bowl now, still warm - Yummy!

    I just hope my two DSs like it - they are used to store bought, but at least the kind with no sugar added also. They can be somewhat particular.

    Lorie

  6. #6
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    Hi,

    I used to make homemade applesauce all the time. My children have been making me feel guilty about not making it for a while now, so I better get with it.

    I don't have my recipe handy but I remember that I used to use granny smith definitely and a couple of times I mixed in a couple of red delicious.

    No matter how I threw it together, it always turned out wonderful. So, so much better than what you buy in the store.

    Lesley

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up

    For the economy minded! In our Ralphs stores, there is always a rack with "marked down" produce.
    Sometimes you can get a large bag of apples, sometimes different varieties in the same bag, and you can make great applesauce with them.[
    Curleytop

  8. #8
    I found this link to the Cornell Orchards website that lists every variety of apple imaginable and tells what each variety is best for (fresh eating, cooking, baking, etc.). Lots and lots of info. I forgot about the Cornell orchards... they're right in my backyard! I think I'll go after work and pick up some apples!

    http://www.hort.cornell.edu/departme...varieties.html

  9. #9
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    Jonathons

    For years I've been making applesauce with Jonathons and sometimes I'll throw in a few other varieties. These seldom need anything added to them except some cinammon, depending on your taste. I put them through the food mill (the only thing I've ever used it for) and freeze them in quart containers - so much better than the store bought. I don't peel them, just wash, seed and quarter. The food mill takes care of the rest!

  10. #10
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    I like using granny smiths for applesauce but have also made very good sauce from green 'feral' apples and from crabapples.
    Anne

  11. #11
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    Any type!

    I've used all types of apples to make sauce. I also use a Foley mill, so the consistency is, well, consistent every time. On Sat. I bought 9 lbs. of golden delicious for $2 and the applesauce I made is almost all gone. It was great. I NEVER add sugar, just a bit of cinnamon. As someone else mentioned, the type of apple (skin-color) affects the color of the sauce. So this batch was pale compared to using red-skinned apples. BTW, my kids want me to buy 20 lbs of apples for sauce next week!

  12. #12
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    Wink All of the above!

    I make my applesauce with a variety of apples (some johnathans, some gala, etc) everytime. I think it is always pretty yummy!
    Write your hurts in sand, carve your blessings in stone.

  13. #13
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    I usually use Granny Smith. Sometimes I add a cup of fresh or frozen cranberries (in which case some sugar is definitely needed).

    I have a neat thing for making applesauce, but I don't know what its called. I know it is an old-fashioned piece of equipment, because my aunt had one when I was a child. It is a cone-shaped "collander" with quite small holes and a cone-shaped wooden pestle that you use to push the cooked apple through the holes. So you don't have to peel or core, as all of that is left behind in the "collander." I would love to know what this is called if anyone knows.

    Gaye

  14. #14
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    Gaye, it's called a 'sieve', or at least that's what my Gma called hers (DG I guess!! ). She pronounced it "Sivv". I wish I had hers, I don't have a food mill and am wondering if I should invest in one or the other of these tools.

  15. #15
    I love homemade applesauce. I use a combination of apples. Granny Smith, Macintosh and Rome or Breaburn. I usually add some golden raisins and cinnamin.
    Judy

  16. #16
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    GayeC

    I think what you have is a chinois or chinoise (sometimes called a china cap). Apparently it is used for making sauces if it is a fine mesh, but I also found a picture of one used as a food strainer.

    Here is a definition I found:

    Chinoise: A chinoise (also known as a china cap) is a deep conical strainer. It comes in various grades from fine to coarse and is used only for liquid ingredients (never to sift dry ingredients). When you need to push a mixture through it, use the back of a ladle so you do not rip or pierce the mesh.

    Here is a link to a picture describing it as a food strainer:

    http://www.abestkitchen.com/store/new.html
    Susan

    So many books--So little time.

  17. #17
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    I think your gadget is called a "china cap"--a less expensive version of a chinois: both items are used in the professional kitchen for straining everything from chicken stock to pastry cream. The chinois is made of fine mesh instead of holes punched in metal. At work, we usually just use a ladle to force things through (very good for the arms). By the way, Ikea has a small inexpensive china cap (without the wooden pestle).

    My first answer to a smooth applesauce would have been McIntosh but everyone's suggestions sound great especially with all the fresh apples around!

  18. #18
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    Ganache

    Thanks for the clarification about the various uses. I knew a conical strainer was a chinois(e), but when I tried to find a definition and a picture for Gaye, I had to search awhile. The definition and use were different depending on what site I found. Now I know more than I did before.
    Susan

    So many books--So little time.

  19. #19
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    I was watching Martha Stewart yesterday, can't remember which channel, and some of the varieties she recommends for applesauce: Mackintosh, Gala and Cortland, because they cook down well, and have good color and flavor.
    She suggested mixing varieties to blend the varying characteristics of apples in your sauce, but she suggested other varieties that I don't see locally, so I managed not to remember their names. (Sorry!)

    In other news, she says that her favorite apple for making apple pie is the Mackintosh.

    I'd love to have a chinois, but they are SO expensive! I do have a china cap, but use my food mill for applesauce, since it seems to be easier for me to use it for that purpose.
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  20. #20
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    Here's Martha's recipe for anyone interested. I have not made it, but the spices would be great!

    APPLESAUCE

    Makes about 7 cups

    18 McIntosh apples (about 6 pounds), peeled, cored, and quartered
    1 cup apple cider
    1 large cinnamon stick
    1/2 vanilla bean
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon ground mace
    1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

    1. Combine apples, apple cider, cinnamon, vanilla bean, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, sugar, and lemon juice in a large, wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan.

    2. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching, until apples are broken down and saucy, about 50 to 60 minutes. Mash any large pieces of apple with a large wooden spoon to help them break down. Adjust seasoning to taste with more sugar and spices. Remove the apple mixture from the heat, and let stand to cool completely before serving, discarding cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod. Applesauce can also be stored in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days in refrigerator.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for all of the information. This thread has made me very hungry for homemade applesauce! Like lisas3573, I also have a new chest freezer that I am trying to stock. Making large amounts of applesauce this weekend sounds like a good plan!

    Gaye

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