Every fall we visit a lovely orchard near Madison, WI. Though just outside the city, Door Creek Orchard is surrounded by rolling hills and woodland and features upper and lower orchard areas. The beautiful rural setting is one of the reasons we continue to go back, year after year. The owners of the orchard also raise Black Welsh Mountain sheep (a rare breed not seen much in North America). I'm not sure what part of the excursion my kids love more -- picking apples or visiting the sheep!
We used some of our pick-your-own apples to make homemade applesauce. I like to make applesauce in small batches that we can eat immediately. Someday maybe I'll try canning.
When making applesauce, I don't peel the apples. It's an unnecessary step if you're planning on straining after cooking. (Technically, you wouldn't need to remove the seeds either, but my kids like to play with the seeds while the apples are cooking.)
Quarter 10-12 apples and add 1 cup of water to the pan. Allow the apples to simmer covered for about 8-10 minutes or until soft.
While we waited for the apples to cook, we made words out of the apple seeds.
We use a cone and pestle stainless steel strainer (also called chinois or china cap set) to strain the applesauce and remove the skins. This is an old-fashioned method of straining, but it really works well for small batches and the kids enjoy smashing the pulp with the pestle.
The McIntosh apples were sweet enough that we didn't need to add any sugar to our applesauce!
Find more of this week's Wordless Wednesday (or Wordful) posts at 5 Minutes for Mom.