How do you cook your apples for applesauce?

mxbarbie(pnw BC 5)November 8, 2008

I was cooking my apple slices in a stock pot on the stove top but I kept burning the bottom. It was very hard to stir. (the pot is tall, but I am not!)

Last night I got creative and filled my huge oval enamel roaster with apple slices and stuck it in the oven. I had the oven temp at 450 and the roaster very near the bottom element. I only put in about 1 cup of water and put the lid on... Presto! 1/2 hour and the apple slices were perfect softness for running through the chinois.

Anyone else have an easy way to cook without scorching?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Oven temp at 450 for 1/2 hour pulls an awfully lot of electricity $$$. ;) We just do ours in a covered good quality stockpot over very low heat and have no scorching problems. Many try to hurry the process along by cooking, uncovered, over heat settings that are just too high.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 12:34PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

If you've been following the apple pie jam thread you'll have seen me wittering on about Bramleys. If you can get them or a similar high acid apple they cook to a fluffy pulp very quickly and do not need sieving. If you want to sweeten it add the sugar after cooking as sugar makes things burn more easily. We have roast pork tonight and I'll use one Bramleys to make enough sauce for four people. It will take about 5 minutes to produce puree from this type of apple.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 12:41PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Instead of water, add apple cider. If the pots burn on top of the stove, reduce the heat so they don't scorch. If your doing a lot of apple sauce, a Chinois is fine for a cup or two, but for bigger jobs, a Villaware/Roma food strainer would be more efficient. Even a Foley will give a faster product, but will clog up with skins. Check the other recent apples and apple sauce threads. The microwave will cook and soften faster too. It depends on how many and how big the pieces are.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 2:36PM
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mxbarbie(pnw BC 5)

I'm not sure which would use more electricity - I have a ceramic top stove and it takes FOREVER to get that big pot up to temp. Then keeping it at low heat so as not to burn the bottom I'd be at it till christmas! I usually use the side burner on my BBQ for canning but it has been very windy the last few days.
Bramley's sounds like big apples, I haven't been following the apple pie jam thread, I'll have to check it out. I usually just use whatever apples I grow or can pick up from friends with apple trees.
I'm not peeling the apples before cooking so the chinois does clog up with skins ~ I don't mind, they are easy to scoop out with a spatula and I enjoy doing using it. It was my Grandmother's and her Mother's before that so I get my dose of nostalgia while I'm at it. It's a big one though, it holds about 6 cups at a time. I have a foley, maybe I'll give it a try with the next batch.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 6:03PM
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A microwave works wonders for a few dozen apples - 7 - 8 minutes for a Pyrex covered casserole dish - dump that out, fill it again with chopped up apples, and keep this up until apples are cooked. Let cool and then run through the mill.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 10:13PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

As I said in my previous post, the microwave is a fast way to soften apples. I usually dont cover the dish in the microwave as I would want the water to boil off as steam.

If your doing a lot tomatoes and apples, the Villaware/Roma food strainer is very fast and efficient. Tomatoes need no prepping, but apples do. The strainers push the skins, seeds and that hard shell around the seeds out the end of the machine. I also use it for seedless red raspberry jam. Makes quick work out of quarts of berries.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 11:45AM
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Ken, I'm a big fan of the Villaware/Roma food strainer - this past fall, we ran I dunno how many bushels of tomatoes through it, and 2 bushels of apples for sauce and apple butter. Works great!

For that, we softened the pieces of apple in a 3 gal stock pot on the lowest possible heat.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 12:31PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Yup. thats good to hear. I have been using one for years, and used to own the very old Victorio model (handed down from my parents) that was quite messy. Today, with the spatter shield and shaft seals they don't get the area as messy as they used to. When I run tomatoes through, I cut them open first and dig out most of the liquid and seeds. The machine gives me a nice thick sauce even without cooking yet. I like the idea of not having to cook things prior to running through the strainer, but apples do need that pre-softening first.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 1:21PM
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Hmm, I seem to recall reading somewhere in the forum about someone using a crock pot for making applesauce. I haven't tried it myself as I'm fortunate enough to have a gas range and can control the temps very well to prevent scorching. The oven method sounds like a great idea. I think it would be especially efficient if coupled with some other use like roasting bones and/or veggies for soup or stock. Then again, I'm the type who makes stew or pot roast on baking day to help my bread dough rise because I keep my house so cool in the winter months. :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 10:34PM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

I recently made some apple sauce without cooking. My wife said it was the best applesauce.

I cored and quartered the apples and then put them in the food processor. It is the easiest apple sauce I have ever made and the best tasting.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 10:30AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Fresh made is always tasty. Its like fresh made salsa or any other food thats just chopped and served. I hope it wasn't canned as fresh, without a heat processing.. I read that some one uses a new stainless steel garbage disposal for grinding up many bushels of apples. Its not mounted in a sink, however and the output goes into a big pail. That person makes cider though.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 11:04AM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

I was playing with apples in the food processor with the intent of making apple cider when I ended up with apple sauce. I did not can any but I did freeze some.

I have seen the posts on using garbage disposals for grinding apples. One guy takes it apart to make sure there are no unsafe metals used in the construction. I am a little concerned about their safety for food use so I have been looking for alternatives.

The food processor seems to work rather well because you can leave the apples in until they are very well ground (applesauce). Waring makes a continuous feed food processor. The continuous feed food processors don't grind the apples as much because they don't stay in the grinding chamber. It may be enough. Most say the more they are ground the more juice you can get. So I am considering a food processor or a blender instead of a garbage disposal for making apple cider. I can't experiment with different grinds because I don't have a press yet.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 3:50PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

This is for HUGE batches.. Its combo units of crusher/ginder and press.

Here is a link that might be useful: Apple press

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 4:03PM
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I use my big electric roaster pan for cooking up my apples. I just wash and quarter them, and cut out the bad parts and dump them in the pan with a just bit of water. Put in the cover and check on it once in a while until they are ready - then I run them through the food mill. If I want to make juice for drinking or jelly, I add a lot more water.

I'd also like to add that if your pan on your cermaic stove takes forever to boil water, you don't have the propery size/type pan. I had a few big stock pots that took forever, and this fall I spent the money and got a good heavy, flat bottem 12 qt stock pot that is just the right size. I am amazed at how quickly I can heat thing up now. Once it is boiling, I turn the burner down to about 2.5 to maintian the boil for water bath. I started paying attention, and with a slightly warped pan, or one the wrong size, the burner well keep cycling on and off. No wonder it took for ever to heat up.

I was seriously thinking about getting a different stove, but with getting some proper pans, I really like my stove again. I've been using the Presto 16 qt canner on it with great results. Just have to make sure the heat plate is centered on the burner correctly.

I'm down to my last 20 lbs of apples - I am so glad to be getting done!


    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 4:56PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

There are also induction type stoves that also need special pots and pans for the flat burners. Corning Ware will not work on most of them. My canner as a wavy aluminum bottom that never gets a good heat to spread. I have decided to cut off the side of a very heavy clad stainless steel pot, to make use as a heat spreader. The pot got warped around the top a long time ago, but the bottom is still flat.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 5:17PM
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