Monday, March 2, 2009

Homemade Applesauce

After 2 months of illness in our house, I decided yesterday was really going to be the start of our 2009. We'll just chalk up the first 2 months of the year to paying our dues since we were unscathed last year. Now that that's over, we can move on with some of the goals we set for 2009.
One of them is to make more snack food from scratch and save money in the process.

Yesterday afternoon, during the COLD rain we had, I got a craving for applesauce. I had used up the last of our applesauce last week and had about 10 apples sitting on the counter. I have used this method several times and while easy, it's not exactly speedy. I put my craving off until today and got to work ...

* Wash, peel, core and cube the apples
* Put them in a large slow cooker
* Add in: cinnamon, sugar, juice from 1 blood orange (it looked pitiful in the fruit bowl all by itself once the apples were gone; citrus and apples is a yummy combination)
* I know you want to know how much sugar and cinnamon and I really wish I could tell you that I measure ... but, I don't. For 10 apples I used about 1 Tablespoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar. You can change these amounts to suit your taste and the amount of apples you use.

Turn the slow cooker on low and walk away for 4-5 hours. Try not to drool from the amazing smell during the cooking time! You return to find this ...

Pull out your blender or food processor, get about 1 cup of water, and as many small dishes as you can find. All this apple mix fit into one blender carafe for me, but this was a small batch. Just process as many times as you need to. Don't overload the blender - trust me! Another tip -let the apples mix cool first (again - trust me!). I sometimes put the slow cooker liner in the fridge overnight. Add the apple mix and water to the blender and puree. You may need to add more water to get your mixture to rotate easily in your blender. A full carafe needed 1/2 cup water.

This batch yielded 6 servings for little man, 2 for DH, and 1/2 cup left for making banana bread. I got the organic apples on sale for $1.00 per pound. I figure I am about break-even with commercially produced applesauce so far as cost goes. But, this tastes SO MUCH BETTER and I know for sure what's in there.

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