peely sauce

When I make the decision to not do a step in an already-established process, it usually gets me in trouble. Like not pressing my hems before sewing or estimating on 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder or not priming my bathroom walls before painting. But, *sometimes* it works magically.

Last Monday I made applesauce and I didn’t peel the apples. And I made the best gol darn applesauce I have ever made. Montana macintosh apples in October are the most exquisite tasting fruit I have ever touched my lips to. And a huge part of the magic is in the thin, sexy pink skin. The lipstick-colored peel bleeds through to the sun-kissed flesh.

Montana macs are crisp but not like granny. They yield to the bite as if begging the biter to bite harder. The finish is unusually matte, even when compared to other unsprayed fruit. With a nearly perfectly round profile, there is just the slightest darling dip where it was once attached to a tree.

So I googled “applesauce with peel” and only found a few mentions on random blogs and that was enough of a reassurance to me. I was mostly concerned with it messing with the ph or processing time but I just cooked the pehjesus out of the sauce and we’ll eat it quickly anyway. It is for my bug and she could live on tofu, applesauce, raisins and mozzarella. I don’t think it makes a difference anyway. But all the botulism gossip always makes me a bit panicky when not following a canning recipe.

I got to use Andy’s grandma’s canning jars. I love LOVE hot, clean jars in my drying rack waiting to be stuffed with this year’s plenty. They are so faithful. If these jars could talk…they are old. I wonder what’s been in them over the years and what conversations were spilled as they were filled.

The apples were a gift from a friend and left in my backyard along with a giant box of pears that I still need to preserve. Speaking of gifts left in our backyard, one of our art professors from college cleaned out her studio a few weeks back and drove around Missoula delivering her work. One day, we received this leaning against our fence when we got home from work along with a voice mail that said, Do whatever you want with it. It’d be great in your backyard. So now we have a painting with life jackets overlooking the cement slab I like to call our patio.

The sauce is a so sweet blush color and bug can’t get enough. I just cooked them apples down and them used the immersion blender I worship. It was brainless and so satisfying to lean over the stove for hours. And I think bug’s sickness went quickly because she inhaled all that fall in the form of steam from the boiling water canner.

*happy halloween* BOO

11 Responses to peely sauce

  1. Kelle says:

    so lainey woke up uber early this morning and we have to be quiet for another couple hours before the rest of the house wakes up. as i made my coffee, i was chanting “new post, new post” in hopes someone would have something interesting for me to read this morning. so, for that, i thank you.
    that art piece is awesome. my favorite part is the framed part that’s more saturated than the rest. very cool.
    and the applesauce looks divine and i really want to can but tell myself i’d have to buy a whole lot of crap to do it. true? anyway, i remember homemade applesauce when i was younger…i loved it hot…with a spoonful of sugar.

  2. TRB Holt says:


    I have 20+ of Courtland apples ready to be made into sauce and chunky apple butter. Seeing your finshed product inspires me to get er’done! I found these 2 recipes on the net and think I will try them. We can sample at Thanksgiving.

    xoxo, Mom

    Smooth or chunky applesauce is a great way to eat your daily fruits.
    6 tart apples
    Juice of half a lemon
    1/2 cup water
    sugar to taste
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 cup raisins (optional)
    1. Peel and core the apples, then cut them into chunks. Place the apples in a large nonreactive saucepan, and add the lemon juice and water. Stir in the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes or until the apples are soft.

    2. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the cinnamon and raisins, if desired. Stir lightly for a chunky sauce and rigorously for a smooth sauce. For a pink applesauce, use red apples and leave the skins on. Once the apples are soft, you can strain out the skins or lift them from the sauce with a fork. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

    4lb apples, peeled and cored
    1 cup apple cider
    2 cups granulated sugar
    2 tbsp lemon juice Preparation: Cut apples into 1-inch pieces.
    Combine apples and cider in a very large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and boil gently for 20 minutes or until mixture is reduced by half.

    3. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Return to a boil, reduce heat, and boil gently for about 25 minutes or until mixture is very thick. There should still be some tender apple chunks remaining. Remove from heat.

    4. Ladle into sterilized jars and process as directed for Shorter Time Processing Procedure.

    Variation: Spiced Apple Butter
    Add 2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp each ground cloves and allspice with the sugar.

  3. TRB Holt says:

    PS that’s 20+ pounds not apples :0)

  4. LeLo says:

    That apple is simply gorgeous. I love that you notice and appreciate its precious local beauty.

    I was gifted by family this summer with old jars like yours. I agree about loving thinking about their lives and what they’ve seen: getting a photo while those blue ones are empty is what I didn’t do. Nice job on that!

  5. Susy says:

    Did you use organic apples? I’ve always wanted to do this but I’m leery of using apples that have been sprayed.

  6. Thanks for the recipes ma!

    Susy, I got the apples from a friend’s orchard, unsprayed. I totally agree and wouldn’t can anything at all unless it is organic. Even if I remove the skins!

    Kelle, not true! Canning is incredibly easy. Especially fruit. I will happily get a list of supplies together for you if you’d like. I bet you could get all of your materials and a box of jars for less than $30.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Gorgeous sauce, looks a lot like mine, I also add a little lemon zest because I think lemon zest makes everything better.

  8. Mikey says:

    Hey chick, wandered in and loved your blog. I read back to early 07!
    I used to live in Missoula and when I saw your house, I said, that’s gotta be up the Rattlesnake. (or close to it) thought I saw my old house in the background! (or wishful thinking)
    Neat blog, and you’re almost inspiring me to can. Is it really that easy? I have visions of exploding jars and such.
    Anyway, I used to live at 1203 Poplar St in college. Worked at the Press Box on the corner of Van Buren. Memories!!! Your blog brought back so much! I miss it, sort of. Don’t like snow so much….
    I’ll have to come back and visit some more. Your bug is adorable!!

  9. FinnyKnits says:

    Oh that sauce looks divine. We love our apples around here, too, but haven’t been able to keep our hands off them long enough to make anything from them.

    Can’t wait to plant our Gravenstein tree in January!! Maybe in a few years we’ll have enough to make sauce and pies :)

  10. Those apples look divine, I can’t say I’ve tried that variety of apple yet.

  11. jen says:

    my girls love applesauce. especially pink.

    they would LOVE that.
    i’ll have to look around for some recipes and try my hand at canning.

    wish me luck!