We went apple picking on Saturday, made it just in time! Apple season is just about over here; they had some apples left on the trees but not many and not the perfect, eating apples you see earlier in the season. I didn't care too much how they looked since they're going to be used for cooking - pies, applesauce, apple butter, crisp, apple cake and muffins. Lots of good stuff, but the apples don't need to look pretty.
This recipe is mostly from my Joy of Cooking cookbook but modified for what I have on hand today. I really didn't measure anything except the sugar so just adjust to the apples you have (more or less water, lemon juice, and spices) and your tastes.
about 2 pints
about 12-15 medium sized apples, a couple of varieties if you have them
1 - 2 cups of water, apple juice, or apple cider (depends on how juicy the apples are)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 piece of cinnamon stick
big dash of nutmeg
scant 1/2 c sugar
Peel, core, and slice the apples (I've got a counter top peeler, corer, slicer and it makes things SO much easier!). Put into a large pot with the water, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick. If you don't have a cinnamon stick, never fear, you'll be ok without. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until apples are soft and easily broken up. If you used the cinnamon stick, take it out. Use a potato masher to mash the apples to get a mostly smooth, but still a bit chunky sauce. If you want it chunkier, use a wooden spoon to just break up the apples; if you want it smooth, use a food mill to process the apples. If you didn't use a cinnamon stick, add about 1 heaping Tbsp of ground cinnamon along with the nutmeg and sugar. Stir, taste, and adjust the spices. Let cool, then either put up in jars, or prepare it to freeze.