Although apples are available year around, they seem to lose some flavor once they've been in cold storage and brought out. Oh, we still eat them all summer long but I feel impelled to hoard some of that "just from the tree" deliciousness. Our recent trip to Saugatuck took us past a great many apple orchards and we thought it might be fun to stop on the way back and, perhaps, pick a few. Alas, it was too cold and damp. Instead, we stopped at the Sawyer Market in Sawyer, Michigan and "picked" from their bins filled with a good variety of locally grown apples.
This simple recipe has been a favorite for years. When I found the Ball freezing "jars", I knew they would serve well for the applesauce. Eight ounce "jars" are just the right size for two. I also do a few pint "jars".
3 to 4 pounds of peeled, cored and quartered apples.
(I used a combination of McIntosh and Jonathan but any cooking apple will do.)
4 strips of lemon peel
Juice of one lemon
3" cinnamon stick
1/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Put all ingredients into a large, heavy pot. Stir to mix well. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Remove cinnamon stick and lemon peel.
Roughly mash with a potato masher.
Enjoy immediately or freeze. Keeps frozen up to one year.