Apples make me think of
back to school
keeping the doctor away
that twinge of guilt I used to feel whenever I threw away an old apple.
You know, the very ones that kept being passed by. Who's going to choose the soft, mealy, bruised fruit when sitting right next to it is a crisp, juicy, and firm beauty? Not me. (Oh dear, I suddenly see an analogy here between youth and old age!)
So those less than desirable apples in my larder used to roll around in the bin until they were so wrinkly, I could finally send them to the mulch pile. I looked the other way when I tossed them to minimize the remorse. Food waste denial.
I have a dear friend who told me years ago that she made applesauce from her "old" apples. This sounded both very frugal and a lot of work. Despite her insistence that "it is so easy", I continued tossing apples and buying jarred applesauce. I double-downed on my regret whenever I threw out leftover applesauce gone fuzzy.
A few years ago for some unknown reason (too much time on my hands?), I decided to make applesauce from some poor old apples. It WAS easy and I continue to do it.
I have an apple peeler/corer, which makes a snap out of the prep work.
The peeled and cored apple slices go into a pot all by themselves. No water, sugar, or seasonings.
I turn low heat under the pot and the apples cook while I do something else.
I stir the pot occasionally and smash the softening apple pieces with my wooden stirring spoon to create a puree. The puree is sometimes chunky and sometimes pulverized, depending on my mood.
When all the apples are soft and mashed, I turn off the heat and let the sauce cool.
Then I measure the sauce into 1 cup packages and put them into the freezer.
6 apples made 1 1/4 cup applesauce.
The frozen applesauce thaws quickly.
That's the reducing guilt part of the story. Now here's the reducing fat part, which further reduces guilt. Really this is a win-win effort.
You can reduce the amount of fat in baked goodies by substituting applesauce for some of the fat.
My favorite recipe for doing this is for Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins.
Here's the recipe:
1/2 cup butter is what is called for, but I only use 1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tea. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup applesauce is what is called for, but I increase it to 1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Cream butter, gradually add brown sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Mix well next 5 ingredients and add alternately with applesauce to creamed mixture, stirring well. Add next 3 ingredients and mix well. Spoon into 12 baking cups which are lining muffin tin cups. Bake in preheated 350○ oven for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.