FALL is in the air, that means Pennsylvania APPLES! Did you know that PA is the 4th leading state in the United States which produces APPLES? Furthermore, Franklin County is the 2nd top producer of apples in PA (after Adams County). Aren’t we lucky to live in this fertile area and have fresh fruit available many months of the year! Beautiful orchards lined with rows of apple trees grace the landscape. Apples are raised to use for the fresh market as well as for processed products. For us, fresh locally grown apples can be found in September and into the winter months. The applesauce in the video was made in January.
Many varieties are available…today we will be making applesauce with Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Cortland. But use any variety which satisfies your taste buds. I like to mix one sweet type apple, like Golden Delicious, with various other apples to give the applesauce more complexity.
Of course there are a variety of methods to cook apples but that day I had purchased a number of bags of seconds so I used a large slow-cooker (crock pot) to cook up a batch.
To cook, first wash well, quarter and core apples, then cut into similar sized chunks. I do not peel the apples because I want to retain all the nutritional value that I can get and don’t care if the applesauce is not totally smooth. But, if you wish, peel to make silky smooth applesauce. Place chunks in a crock pot, do not add water if cooked on slow. We want to make it whole foods so do NOT add sugar, the sweetness of the delicious apples are enough and you really don’t need to add spices unless you want. Cook for 4 or more hours on slow. (To make apple butter, it takes 10 hours or longer.) When the apples are breaking up and have a mushy texture, it’s time to blend with an immersion blender to make applesauce.
Watch the video to see how easy it is to make and freeze applesauce to have fresh eating all year round. ENJOY!