Slowly but surely I’m getting a few things figured out with this applesauce-making business. Many of you left comments sharing that you were shocked that with all the canning I do, I don’t have a Victorio. Others were shocked that I take off the apple skins. Yep, I’m just learning along with the rest of us here. I didn’t grow up doing any canning, so I’m learning as I go. I’d never even heard of a Victorio or a Squeezo before last week, so I’ve appreciated your ideas and suggestions!
Since I don’t have a Victorio strainer, nor do I know anyone who has one I can borrow, and since I’ve got apples that need to be put up right now, I went ahead and tried yet another applesauce method. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner! (I think we will probably end up investing in a nice strainer, especially for tomato sauce. But for apples, can you all reassure me that the bad, wormy parts in the apples really do get strained out? I’m still hesitant about that since the apples I work with aren’t always pretty once I cut into them. Really – do I just quarter them and throw them all into the pot, worms and all?)
This time, I followed the advice of leaving the skins on and blending them up along with the apples. I hesitated with this idea at first because I figured there would be little bits of apple peelings in the sauce and that my family would rebel. Well, what’s a mother to do, but to try the idea and not tell her family what she’s done?
Sure enough – I cooked my apples, ran it all through my food processor, served it up, and would you believe – not one boy or husband knew that there were apple peelings in the applesauce!
Not only did this method save lots of time, we’re getting a healthier applesauce. Plus, there was much less waste – so I got several more quarts of applesauce for my efforts!! Ahhh, I’m so happy about this.
Quarter and core apples, cutting out bad spots. Cook apples in a large pot, following these directions. When the apples are soft, run them through a food processor until smooth. See, the peelings just get blended up in there! (I don’t have an immersion blender, but according to many of you, sticking the immersion blender directly into the pot saves yet another step. I may ask for one for Christmas.) :)
I used some of my “special” jars this time, because this applesauce is so pretty. These jars came from my late friend Lorna Mae. I miss her. :( I think she’d be thrilled that her jars are being put to good use for my family.
I also made a bunch of mini apple pies, a big apple pie and an apple crisp – all with apple skins left on. I may never peel another apple again.
So there we have it. Leaving the skins on the apples when making applesauce and apple pies saves time and adds nutrients. Now, on to the Apple Butter…
Meg @ Cracking An Egg says
Yay Laura! :-) I love your skinny applesauce!
Love it!! We should definitely call it that. And Skinny Apple Pie too – perfect!
Skinny applesauce – perfect! :)
We have a thing here in Missouri called a Foley mill. It is awesome. I will try to get you one. I can get 30 or so tomatoes or apples squeezed down to less than 1 pint of leftover skins, seeds etc leftover.
I have one actually – really, you can get yours down to 1 pint of leftover skins? Maybe I did something wrong. That thing was so much work! :)
You get there by reprocessing the pulp a couple times until only pulp in coming out the end. It also gives the sauce a much richer flavor. I get you on the effort though! I only use it when I have a bushel or more of apples to do. That thing is a pain to clean. I hope one day they come up with a design that makes it easier to clean! LOL
April @ ecoMomical Me says
I’m getting ready to make applesauce this week and I think I will try your method! Thank you for sharing!
Angela Vance says
I LOVE it! I’ve always wondered if you could leave the skin on as it would save so much time and be more nutritious, but I was afraid of trying it for myself! Now that you have inspired me, I shall certainly try it!! THANK YOU!!
I am never peeling an apple again! BTW, you NEED to ask Santa for an immersion blender–it’s the best thing ever. Salad dressing, mayo, velvet smooth soups, and (best of all) perfect whipped cream in 45 seconds.
LOVE my immersion blender!!! I purchased this one: http://www.amazon.com/Sharper-Image-8130SI-Stainless-Steel-Immersion/dp/B003DNRG94/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1319428208&sr=1-1
It has done a GREAT job so far, cleans up easy, and was a great price!! Plus it comes with extra attachments!
I never peel my apples when I make applesauce. I don’t have an immersion blender so I puree it in my blender. This year I made Peach Applesauce. First time I’ve made it and it’s good.
When I do my applesauce I quarter them and take out the yucky cores but leave the good ones. I don’t even cook my apples since I have a Vitamix. It took me 3 evenings to do 28 lbs, quartering and steaming them. I did 140lbs of apple and peaches in 3 days, for the apples I just quartered them and put them in the Vitamix or I sliced them with the Pampered Chef peeler slicer (I left the peels on) and made your apple pie filling or just canned them plain. I didn’t even peel the peaches either, I’m such a rebel and pregnant so I was tired! The peaches are just fine with the skins on. I’ve never done any canning so THANK YOU for your guidance and this is where I learned how to can apples, http://urbanext.illinois.edu/apples/preserving.cfm (which happens to be my Alma Mater, hopefully they don’t let me down).
I third asking for an immersion blender for Christmas! I just bought one a few months ago, solely for mayo making, and I LOVE it!!!!! It saves about 20+ minutes of time (sometimes more as I had a few failures that I had to fix when I made it with a mixer), and 2 VERY aching arms. :) I plan to experiment more soon, as there are so many possibilities. I’m definitely going to make fresh, raw whipped cream soon.
I’ll admit…I’m the lazy cook. But I’m still a mom that wants my kids to eat healthy. I REFUSE to buy sugared applesauce but my kids wanted flavor!
So we set out to make a apple butter in the crock pot and it was so thick…it’s now our applesauce recipe! :)
I love that there’s no stirring, milling, etc involved. I use my corer/slicer all in one tool toss in as many apples as will fit into my crock pot. Add one to 2 cups apple cidar or apple juice (an all natural one) with about 1/4 c sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Then turn it on low and leave it overnight. In the morning, I ladel two to three ladels full into my blender and whir it up! The blender does great with the peels….I guess the slow cooking really helps break them down. The spices give it a nice brown color so I ‘ve never worried about ascorbic acid…especially since my kids usually gobble this all up in just a few days. I just pop it in the fridge.
Last year I left the skins on, just steamed them with apple cider and put if food processor and the kids loved it. Here in PA, all the local apples are definitely sprayed with chemicals because of the HORRID Stink Bugs. If you don’t have them, they will probably be coming to you in a few years! Because of this, I peeled my apples this year, it is hard to make the choice between eating the vitamin rich skin that is covered in chemicals.
baking mama says
I agree … have the same dilema here (and we have HUGE stinkbug problems!) Don’t know which is better: getting more nutrition from the skins or peeling and avoiding the pesticides from the conventional orchards (no organic sources nearby). What do you think, Laura? If you’re seeing so many “worm spots” on yours, I’m assuming your apples haven’t been sprayed.
I think in this case, I’d do what you are suggesting and peel the apples to avoid the pesticides. Even though my worm spots are icky, I welcome them knowing that my apples haven’t been sprayed like crazy. :)
Susan Robinson says
Laura, love your site! I get such a kick out of your posts. I had a Victorio many years ago and lent it to my Mother-in-law. When she died last year at 98 years old, it must have been sold in her estate sale. I sure wish I had it back. Now I’ll have to buy a new one.
I, too, LOVE jars. I’ve been known to buy some crazy expensive gourmet item because of the jar it’s in. When I walk down the grocery aisles, I see JARS!!
So what do you do when you have wormy apples? I actually think I might lose my lunch if I saw worms in an apple. I really want to go buy a bunch of apples and try canning applesauce. I don’t have any canning equip except a bunch of jars. Maybe one of those Ball Discovery Kits would get me started doing small batches.
I rarely actually find a worm in the apple, just black, nasty parts inside the apples that had been caused by a worm. If you buy apples from the store, you’re not likely to run into this problem too much. Apples I get from friend’s apple trees are usually kinda wormy though – it’s not gross to me, but I certainly don’t want it in my applesauce!
C Dazey says
We picked a bushel of apples at a local orchard, and we didn’t have any worms in ours.
No, I definately take out worms & bad spots – ewww, can’t imagine cooking the worms too!!! OTHER than bad spots & worms, I just quarter them.:-)
Okay – thank you for helping me out with that! Everyone had just said “all you have to do is quarter them and put them into the pot, then strain in your Victorio”. While that WOULD save me time – it also just sounded gross, with all of the blackened stuff inside some of my apples where the worms had lunch. :)
I have always left the skins on apple when making applesauce. I was always told that is where most of the vitamins and good for you stuff is (don’t know if that true or not). Also when I want to make applesauce but have other things that need my attention, I cook mine in my crock pot, that way I don’t have to watch them so much and they won’t burn.
Where I live stores like Bimart and Coastal Farm sell something called a “sauce master” which looks just like the Victorio Squeezo. It is AMAZING and makes apple sauce, tomatoes, etc so much faster.
I should have clarified too. We have our own trees, and our own worms. I cut out the yuckies while quartering the apples, then steam, then strain in the Squeezo. You probably thought a whole lot of us enjoy wormy applesauce! :)
Yep, those skins add so much flavor and color. I processed over 60 quarts of applesauce last week – have another 1 1/2 bushels in pots now, plus dehydrated gallons of apples, canned several quarts of apples, and several more of apple butter. Love apple season!!
Laura, I don’t know if you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, but we do and use the strainer attachment (purchased separately). It saves a lot of muscle and works great for straining everything – you don’t have to core or peel the apples, just cut them into small enough slices to go in the strainer. We actually ran the “waste” part through the strainer a second time and were able to get even more (very thick) applesauce! YUM!
Thank you, Kim, for mentioning the KitchenAid attachment! That’s what
I use and it works great! I also make tomato sauce with this! The pro-
cess is fast! Laura, leaving skins on is great, but cut out worms! :)
Hey Laura, your link on the Victorio is going to an associate amazon sign in page… just thought you might want to know :)
Not sure how I managed to do that!! Thanks for letting me know – I got it fixed!
I had to chuckle about the thought of leaving in worms, or the yucky stuff they leave behind! We quarter our apples, cut out bad spots, toss them in a huge bowl with some Fruit Fresh until we have a bunch. Into a huge pot they go,the lid goes on, and after they have cooked for awhile, I just push down on the apples in the front of the pan – the more cooked ones push up the other side, and the ones that have been sitting on top then go down into the juice. Once they are all softened up, we scoop them up with a large slotted spoon, and into the Victorio they go. (I also throw in 4-5 cinnamon sticks with the apples for great flavor.)
I reuse the same juice several times (cinnamon sticks, too), and when we are all finished making applesauce, I make up cinnamon apple jelly. It’s such a guy thing. I’ve never yet met a guy young or old who doesn’t love cinnamon apple jelly. (Give me berry jam any day!)
NW Juliana says
Sorry, I don’t have time to read through all the comments!! I have to get out to my kids after working. I’ve made applesauce for years, trying all the “methods” out there and it’s come down to this: Use the 8-slicer hand thingie to core the apples, throw the 8 pieces in the pot, falling it while letting the apples cook on medium heat. Add a couple of cups of water. Stir. when a little soft, use a hand wand blender to turn it into sauce and can it! That’s it! I would thinking transferring to a food processor would be quite messy and sticky. Get a $15 hand wand blender and avoid that step.
I used to swear by the Vittoria, by the peeler/slicer/corer thing, by putting raw apples into a blender and making the sauce in there (then transferring to a stove to heat it through). No more. The easiest method is what I described above, well IMO! ;-) I do admit, though, that I don’t have buggy apples. If I did, I guess I’d want to strain.
NW Juliana says
Forgive my typos!
I just ordered 40lbs of apples from Azure with this in mind =] My munchkin eats so much applesauce and applesauce bread I needed to make my own =]
I also want an immersion blender for Christmas, it’s on my facebook page now =]
Brit @MomAnswersWithBrit.comtp says
I inherited a really old (passed down 3 generations) applesauce maker thing. Well, that’s I’ve always called it anyways. It makes the best applesauce ever! I cut up apples (with the skin on) cook them will a little water over the stove. Then put them in the applesauce maker thing (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Tin-Wood-Apple-Sauce-Maker-Press-Primitive-Kitchen-Tool-Utensil-Strainer-/360398513011) and make awesome, perfect tectured applesauce.
I just ordered 40 more lbs of apples from Azure to make even more yummy applesauce! :)
I ordered a Mehu Liisa (Finnish steamer) this fall. My mother has had a Mehu Maia for years. (Same steamer, different name.) Not only was I able to make great applesauce I was able to can apple juice….out of the very same apples. I steamed the halved apples for 45 minutes, drained the juice into hot jars slapped the lid on…it’s canned! Next I ran the apples through the strainer and pestle. Wow! What filling applesauce. I notice the kids do not need to eat quite as much applesauce to feel full. The joys of natural foods! This great steamer can also juice berries and so much more! Check it out!
We left the apple skins on when canning applesauce last year, but our blender left some chunks. I’ll have to try using the food processor this year! Glad it you found an easier way to make applesauce!
Kris Mays says
Nothing shocks me, anymore. WINK
Seriously, I have never heard of those things, either. So glad you are figuring it all out for me, girl!
Blessings, Kris <3
Kris Mays says
For all the shocked people, there are many more of us not commenting because we don’t know, either! LOL! (And I do do some canning, too.)
The only concern i would have with leaving the skins on is that my son suffers from constipation. When we has little i found that certain baby applesauces made it worse. I later found out this was because they leave the skins on their apples.
Just food for the thought if you have a child with constipation issues.
Shelly Smith says
@Jennifer- I would tend to think that the skins ON would be beneficial for children (or adults) with constipation problems- as that’s where the fiber is!! My son also has constipation issues, and we always serve his apples with the skin on (it helps!) I would suggest there is something else in some of the applesauce choices you served him that may have made his constipation worse?? I know that the “BRAT” diet is used for sick kids with diarrhea (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast)- but that is why I think WHOLE apples are better for our kiddos with constipation- because of the skins (and fiber!) I believe most commercial applesauce is made without skins…
I work in a hospital so i know about BRAT Diet. My son is now 4 and he still can’t have apples with skins.
Immersion blenders are worth their weight in gold. Got one for soap making and have used it like crazy in the kitchen. I just got a Wal-mart one and it works great…
I’m curious how you liked the apple desserts with the skins on. I made an apple crisp one evening and out of laziness didn’t peel the apples. The flavor was fine, but we didn’t care for the texture nearly as much as without the skins.
(And I cut out the bad parts of apples, too :) And if I were just blending the cooked apples, I’d take out the cores. If just running them through a mill of some type, I leave the cores in.)
The desserts I made this time turned out great with the skins on – it could be the variety of apples made the skin more doable to leave on?
I made apple butter by blending the apples with the skins on, and it turned out great. So I’m going to try making applesauce with “blended in skins” too.
Laura, I knew Lorna Mae too! She was a dear, precious friend of my husband’s grandmother (LaRee’s mom–pretty sure LaRee and her sisters grew up with Lorna Mae’s kids). My kids and I go down to visit Granny Great at South Padre every winter, and Bob & Lorna Mae have always been there too. It’s so neat to me that you knew her and you have something of her legacy. Totally warms my heart. : )
It makes me so happy that you knew here too. She was always such a wonderful support and encouragement to me. Having her jars makes me smile. I miss her so much!
Hint: If you get your *kids* to slice and dice the apples, you won’t need to vitamix/blend the ‘skinny’ applesauce. You can also freeze the chopped apples in ziplocs ready for making muffins or fresh sauce. Yum.
However, we don’t do enough applesauce to feed us for a year with that method. :-(
Maybe this is the year for a stick blender for my kitchen too??
Kathy B says
Laura, I just stumbled on your site and it’s terrific. I’ve already gotten a lot of great ideas and thought I’d share one from my late mother. I used to help her do the canning and loved it. One year, after I was married, Mom was visiting when I was canning apples. As I started to throw the peels out, she stopped me. She then cooked them down in water and cinnamon and strained the liquid into pint jars and processed them. All that winter, when I’d use a jar of apples, I’d also heat up a jar of the liquid, thicken it with cornstarch or arrowroot and use it as a sauce over the pie or crisp – or even over ice cream. Fabulous and no more wasted peels.
Kentucky Lady 717 says
Have question about making applesauce? Do you add any water at all to the apples or do you just start them on low and they make their own apples ? I’m not talking about canning it, just a recipe for a family of 4…..thanks
[email protected] says
There is no water added. It is just their natural juices that come out.
If you dont want to “waste” even the skins, I KNOW its a lot of work peeling, but since you do ALOT of apples, if you boil down the skins and strain them out, it makes fresh, natural pectin, that you can use to make jams and such=) I do this, its easy and you can use your handy dandy straining complex rubber band system to hang it overnight! just a thought=)
Victoria Calderaio says
I just made applesauce for my great nephew, the first time ever, and I left the skin on. I used brown sugar instead of white, blended it on low for 30 seconds and it was perfect. My daughter is pregnant, and I plan on making all his food.
I just made sauce with the skins on. I have a kitchen aid immersion blender and it worked great. Took a while to get blended smooth, but i made 6.5 quarts. water bathed them for 20 minutes. It tastes great, almost a little too sweet though, i used a cup and a half of sugar. it sweetened up after cooking it seems.
Cynthia Gee says
For a real time and mess saver, after you cut up your apples, bake them in a big flat pan instead of boiling them. The flavor is better, and you only need to add a very little water to the pan to keep them from burning. After the apples are nice and soft and mushy, run them through a Foley processor and can them – the baking process dries the apples out a bit so your applesauce will be thicker, which is a real time saver if you are going to use it for making apple butter; also, if the apple peels scorch or caramelize a bit, that will also speed the caramelization process along in your apple butter.