I looooove apple sauce. It's delicious by itself, on breakfasts, with yogurt, served beside cakes slices, on pork chops and for babies. I used it as a tomato sauce substitute and my kids are happy to have it on their porridge instead of table sugar. Best of all, if you know someone with a cooking apple tree, it's virtually free. It really is easy to make. I'll show you how.
Get a bucket of cooking apples - you can use eating varieties but the sourness of cooking apples turns into a rich, sweet yumminess when cooked. Eating apples will do but the taste is more bland when cooked. Give the apples a quick wash and cut the core and any icky bits out. Don't skin them - your apple sauce will have more than twice the fibre with skins included than without. And who can be bothered peeling apples anyway?
Pop the apple pieces in a big pot with enough water so that the bits on the bottom don't burn. Cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally, if they are starting to stick and burn add a little more water, turn the heat down and stir more often.
Cook until they get to this consistency - mushy all the way through with no hard bits.
Use a stick blender to puree the whole lot in the pot. Add a little salt and a little cinnamon. In this case with a big pot full I used about half a teaspoon of salt and maybe a teaspoon of cinnamon. Keep tasting it to figure out how much - we want just enough salt and cinnamon to enhance the apple flavour, not to make it taste salty or cinnamony.
Bottling the apple sauce is the nicest way to store and serve it. Use ordinary glass jars with metal lids. Sterilise the jars by filling 1/4 full with water and cook them in the microwave until the water boils, about 10 mins for 10 or so jars. Boil the metal lids in a pot in shallow water. Just ladle the hot apple sauce into the hot jars (tip the water out first!) and screw the tops on tight. They'll keep in the pantry for months, probably years, but I haven't had any last that long without being eaten! The Moccona jar at the front is an experiment to see if it seals properly, it appears that it has.
A lazier way of storing it is to spoon the apple sauce into zip-lock bags and keep in the freezer. Either way, it's delicious.
Anna Claire Thompson is an Artist, a mother and a strength athlete.