Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Our local cider mill offers what they call "utility" apples by the full peck for a little more than half the price of the regular apples. They are apples that are not bruised (those go to making cider) but may have flaws in the skin or be oddly shaped. Most people want to buy "perfect" apples so the mill charges less for these visually flawed apples that might otherwise go to waste. These utility apples are usually bagged in a mix that is perfect for baking. The flaws and odd shapes don't matter because the apple is going to be chopped or sliced anyways and the imperfections can be trimmed out. No part of these apples goes to waste either at my house - my daughter loves to take the horses and goat a bowl of the trimmings and dole them out as treats.
So into a large pot with a lid go all the chopped apples (my pot starts full of chopped apples within an inch of the top and will cook down to be about half a pot of applesauce), a couple of cups of apple cider or water, about 1/2 cup of sugar, a tablespoon of cinnamon, a 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, and a 1/4 teaspoon of clove. Stir well, turn the heat on low and cover. You will need to check this a few times at first and stir so your apples and sugar on the bottom don't scorch. Once the apples start to cook down, make sure your heat is really low and leave it to cook slow for about 2 hours. This makes about 10-12 cups of sauce to freeze but if you want to make a really big batch to can, you can keep adding more apples as the first ones cook down and you have more room until you have cooked a whole pot full.
Posted by April S.