I admit I was a little late embracing apple season. By the time I finally made it out to Linvilla Orchards, pick-your-own season had just ended. Luckily, they still had plenty of apples. I bought a big box of “seconds” – apples with slight blemishes that are still great for cooking and half the price!
The thought of peeling, coring and slicing all of those apples made me a bit faint-of-heart, but I borrowed my friend Merridy’s vintage Victorio Strainer. My mom has one, and knowing it’s super powers, I didn’t consider making applesauce without one. Here’s the deal: You just chop of the apples, and boil them in a little water and cider until very soft.
Then you just take a big old measuring cup and dump the apples in the “funnel” of the old Victorio. Save the liquid, as it’s great for boiling more apples, or as a sweet vegetable soup base.
All you have to do then is crank the handle and the applesauce slides hot and delicious down the shoot, into your waiting bowl. The peel, core and seeds are miraculously separate and drop into a different bowl. Some people use these peels as moistening additions in breads and muffins.
The last step? Add your desired spices (I like nutmeg, cinnamon and star anise) and cook for a bit over medium heat. Now eat it all – fresh applesauce is amazing – or can it, or freeze it. Later, in those cold winter months, you’ll be so glad you did.