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I am an applesauce snob

Don't get me wrong - if you invite me over for dinner I will gladly eat whatever applesauce you place before me, but if it's up to me I will not buy the canned or jarred stuff from the grocery store.

Why is it that the texture of commercially prepared applesauce is so different from homemade applesauce? Can anybody out there in the webosphere tell me? I have a hunch that they just grind up raw apples, add sugar and citric acid and put it in the cans. To me it tastes mealy rather than smooth like homemade.

It is possible to get really good commercially canned applesauce - they have it in France. It's called compote de pommes and it's delicious.

Every fall we make several trips up to the Hendersonville, NC area to purchase apples. We go most often to Lyda Farms. We eat a lot of them raw and I use some for some of our favorite apple dishes such as apple pie, apple dumplings, etc. After a while the apples start to shrivel up a bit and then it's time to make applesauce.

Today I used up the last of the fall apples and made a batch of applesauce and some apple butter. One tool that we purchased many years ago makes making applesauce a lot easier - the Victorio Strainer.

Here's the process:

Wash the apples and remove any leaves.

picture of apples

Cut the apples in quarters and remove any bad spots.

picture of apples

Place in cooking pots with a small amount of water and cook until they are very tender - the cut surfaces will look fluffy.

picture of apples

Assemble the Victorio Strainer.

picture of strainer

Place the cooked apples in the hopper and crank the handle.

The applesauce comes out of one side and the peels, cores, and stems come out the other!

picture of strainer

Sweeten to taste, place in jars, and process in a hot water bath.

Here are the finished jars. This should keep the doctor away for some time.

picture of sauce


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10 Comments on “I am an applesauce snob”

  1. #1 Mary
    on Jan 3rd, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Hi Becka,
    I’m right there with you! Homemade is so much better than store bought. A friend introduced me to making applesauce this fall.
    I enjoy reading your husband’s blog. I’m glad to see you have your own! I’ll be checking back often.

  2. #2 Beth
    on Jan 3rd, 2009 at 1:44 am

    I don’t see the ordering information for your applesauce…? 😀 j/k

  3. #3 Megan
    on Jan 3rd, 2009 at 2:09 am

    Jim will be happy to see the apple butter, and Drew will be happy about the applesauce!

  4. #4 Deb
    on Jan 3rd, 2009 at 3:26 am

    Becka, we just had applesauce tonight…from a jar! And yours looks so good. What a counter full of delicious looking homemade applesauce!

  5. #5 Anna
    on Jan 3rd, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I absolutely agree! Home made is the best….It tastes great on a variety of meats…..PS i must say your Victorio Strainer is pretty impressive!

  6. #6 Doodie Hutchison
    on Jan 3rd, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    We used to live in Indiana–close to heaven, I think. The fruits and vegetables available there were amazing. I canned and froze just about anything that grew! One of the family favorites was apple butter. I found out that it can be put into the crock pot to reduce–the added benefit is that the house smells wonderful for days!

  7. #7 Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks&Me
    on Jan 3rd, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Hi, I came over from Deb’s blog.

    I can already see you are “like minded”. I’m subscribing on Bloglines now.

  8. #8 Laura
    on Jan 6th, 2009 at 9:58 am

    A neighbor of ours when we lived in MA used to do chunky applesauce that was really good. She added just a little vanilla to it when she was done cooking, and the flavor was incredible. I think she was able to use less sugar as a result, too.

    Do you also use your strainer to process tomatoes?

  9. #9 Kathy
    on Jan 7th, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Way to go with the homemade applesauce, Becka. We do it in a big way here in VA, too. The girls and I made 149 quarts of applesauce last September–just one batch of apple butter, though. We’ve had a Victorio Strainer for years–probably at least 25 years. The girls have new ones, so we use those now. They are great for tomato sauce, too. My husband groans about all the canning jars in the attic–until he sees they really do get used! (Do you have one of the steam canners–instead of the old water bath? If not, you should look into that. Makes the canning process much quicker and less complicated.)

  10. #10 Kathie
    on Jan 14th, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Hi Becka, I enjoyed reading your blog this morning. We, too, love homemade applesauce. I was surprised to see that you used only one kind of apple. We’ve always used a mixture…gala, fuji, granny smith, etc. I go to the farmer’s market and ask for a mixed bushel. Delicious! I saw a brand new victorio for $3 at the thrift shop yesterday. I was tempted to buy it just because it was a steal. Thank you for a wonderful blog.

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