Grandma always cooked her apples up and ran them through the colander. I have her colander (which she called a ricer...
see the random picture of one from the internet),but I can't find the wooden pestle-thing. I'm hoping it's somewhere in my garage, and if I ever get to that project, finding it will be my reward. Until then, my friend Gay lent me her food mill (which she calls a colander... I'm learning all sorts of things from this project, but it's a little confusing). The nice thing about the food mill is the crank. It looks a lot easier than the colander, in my opinion, but I'll let you know as soon as I can compare.
Grandma always used a certain kind of apple called Transparents. Now, as far as I can tell, these are just a simple farm apple. They're yellow, and they come during the summer, earlier than you'd think of for apples. I have trouble finding these babies, and when I do, I'm never in the mood to make applesauce. Well, 2 different friends gave me apples this year. I got some small Jonathans from Dian, and some "winter apples" from Suzanne. My mission is to recreate Grandma's applesauce. When applesauce-makers heard I had two varieties, they unanimously suggested to mix them together. I tried that on Wednesday night, and I should know better. When you're doing a scientific experiment, you have to limit your variables (I knew those 4 years teaching science would come in handy). The applesauce came out pretty chunky, even after running it through the Foley Food Mill (see picture). I'm also happy to say that I eBay'd a Foley Food Mill, so I'll be getting one of my own soon. Yay! Small things excite me.
ANYWAY, I had no idea which apple was wrong for the mix. It tasted good, but it wasn't Grandma's. So, on Thursday night, I tried just the Jonathans. I noticed that they cooked down more quickly than the winter apples, so I was hoping they were the smoothest. I added a little sugar and some cinnamon and got it all worked up. It tasted great... very close to Grandma's... tart but sweet! The apples still aren't exactly right, but they're closer. I'll just have to keep my eyes open for Transparents in the summer. Then I might get it down perfectly.
My friend Dee Ann used the colander/pestle method last night to make some applesauce of her own, and we brought in samples to share this morning at school... like a little taste test. It was fun, and we were comparing our methods and recipes. We're going to be applesauce experts!
The coolest thing was I really felt like Grandma was there with me, watching over my shoulder. The house smelled like fall... spicy apples, and I felt the spirit of my Grandma beside me. Perfect.