When I was younger, we often spent every weekend at my grandparents farm. Some of my most fond memories involve visits there. I have fond memories of how her kitchen would always smell amazing ( she was an amazing cook and I often get requests to recreate something that she made), and miss the old wall paper and table, that have since been replaced since she passed.
One fond memory I have is making apple sauce with her. Many of the fields on the farm were lined with apple trees. When they were ready, Grandpa would pile my brother and I in the loader and drive us out to one of the apple trees. We’d then hop into the bucket and he would raise us up so that we could reach the trees. I remember it seeming soooo high up (although I imagine it wasn’t), but we’d pick the apples from the trees and drop them in the bucket along with us. When we’d had enough, we’d carry our armful of apples back to the house and Gran would turn them into apple sauce for us. She’d boil up the apples that we’d brought in and we’d watch her press them through her sieve, and watch the apple sauce squish through the holes.
I always remember us picking soooo many apples, but apparently that wasn’t the case. Mom often tells how we’d come in with five or six puny apples for her to sauce, and she would send us home with a teeny tiny container of sauce to take in our lunches the next day.
She passed when I was ten, and it’s memories like these that I hold dear.
Last year, while helping out my paternal grandmother ( who celebrated her 90th birthday this year!) with a yard sale, I noticed that she had an apple sieve ( Dad says that he never remembers his mom using for apple sauce, but it’s just something I will always associate it with) for sale, and both Mom and I were overcome with nostalgia. Needless to say it made the trip home with me that day. And when I was given a some apples recently, I knew exactly what I was going to do.
Now there isn’t really a recipe for Gran’s apple sauce, it basically was pick some apples, boil them up and pass them trough the sieve, but there are a few things that made it special: The sieve, foever to be linked in my mind with apple sauce, and she would cook them with the skins on. They don’t pass through the sieve, and they gave the apple sauce a pretty pink color (Note: I have found that not all apples will do this, so I guess it depends on the apple you are going to use).
Gran’s Apple Sauce:
- sugar, to taste (optional, I use brown)
- cinnamon, to taste (optional)
- Quarter your apples, trimming the stems and the blossom ends
- Put them in a pot, add some water and bring to a gentle boil.
- Cook them till soft, and will pass through the sieve easily. This can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes depending on the apple you are using.
- Press the apples through the sieve, a few at a time, removing skin, cores, and seeds from the sieve as needed.
- Stir in the cinnamon and the sugar a couple tablespoons at a time until you reach your desired taste. Most of the time I find that sugar isn’t needed, however if you happen to be using a tart apple ( like I was) sugar is sometimes needed.
- Transfer to your desired containers and store in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to year.