What do you do when you find yourself drowning in apples but with no time/energy/inclination to spend the next 2 weeks peeling said apples? Make no-peel apple sauce of course!
I make vats of this apple sauce every year to use up windfall apples from our garden. While this method is a fantastic way to deal with large quantities of apples (windfall or otherwise), I also find it really effective for using up small or misshapen apples which are difficult to peel.
Use the apple sauce to make Homemade Granola, Irish Apple Tart or Eve’s Pudding. Eat it with yogurt or porridge for breakfast or with custard or ice cream for dessert. Eat it with rice pudding, tapioca or semolina – especially popular with toddlers! Swap out half the oil in Carrot Cake or Zucchini Bread and replace with apple sauce instead. Whatever you do, make sure to freeze some apple sauce… your future self will thank you for all the quick breakfasts and puddings that will be at your finger tips!
Big Batch Apple Sauce
Big Batch Apple Sauce - no peeling method - perfect for using up windfall apples.
2kg (41/2 lbs) dessert/table/eating apples (e.g. Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, Jonogold, Katy, Gala) (or about 12 cups chopped apples)
200g (200ml; 7 fluid oz; 1 cup less 2 tablespoons) water
100g (31/2 oz; 1/2 cup) sugar (optional – you may omit this if using very sweet apples or you may need a little more if your fruit is on the tart side)
Roughly chop the apples, cutting out any bruises or “bad” bits on the fruit and place in a large pot. (No need to peel or remove cores, stems or seeds!)
Add the water to the apples and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Place a lid on the pot and immediately turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Allow to cook for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching or sticking and to help the apples break down into a sauce.
The apples are ready when they have started to collapse into a sauce and any remaining chunky pieces are soft and smashable (yes, that’s a word) with the back of a spoon. Add the sugar, if using, and stir to dissolve.
If you have a foodmill, break it out and get to work on your apples.
If you live in no-food-mill-land (like me!), then simply ladle the cooked apple (in batches) into a sieve placed over a large bowl. Use a sturdy spoon to stir and push the soft apple through the sieve into the bowl below.
You will be left with apple skin and seeds in the food mill/sieve. Discard this. OR add to your compost pile if you’re into that sort of thing.
Next, stir your apple sauce and taste. If it’s a little tart, add some extra sugar one teaspoon at a time and sweeten to taste. If the sauce is a little thin/watery, simply pour it into a clean saucepan and simmer over a gentle heat to drive off the extra water and thicken the sauce. Beware! Apple sauce can spit and splutter when simmered – use a large pot and cover partially with a lid to prevent splatter.
This apple sauce keeps for at least a week in the fridge or at least 6 months in the freezer.
This method works really well for batches of apples up to 10kg in weight – assuming, of course, that you have a sufficiently large pot in which to cook the apple! I use my ham pot – a very large pot for cooking a whole ham. Beyond 10kg, it can take an excessively long time to soften the apples with an increased risk of the apple sauce becoming scorched or burned. For 5kg batches of apples and above, I recommend using more water per kilo of apples to cook the fruit. This is because the longer cooking time means that more water evaporates.
- 5kg (11 lbs) apples – use 625g (22oz; 23/4 cups) water and 250g (9oz; 11/4 cups) sugar – cook for 60-90 minutes
- 7kg (151/2 lbs) apples – use 875g (30oz; 33/4 cups) water and 350g (12oz; 23/4 cups) sugar – cook for 1.5-2 hours
- 10kg (22 lbs) apples – use 1.25kg (44oz; 51/2 cups) water and 500g (171/2oz; 21/2 cups) sugar – cook for 2.5 to 3 hours
- All of that said, this is really a guide rather than a strict recipe so don’t get too hung up on exact quantities. Omit the sugar or use a bit extra if you prefer. You can eyeball the water instead of measuring it exactly. Just keep an eye on your apples as they cook and add a little more water if they are not yet softened but are looking quite dry.