Apple Sauce, Pie, and Crisp

October 26, 2010

Admittedly, I just kind of throw together things when I cook, and so making apple sauce, pie, or crisp is exception. I don’t have a recipe to provide you of what I do, but I can talk about the process a little bit.

First off, I’m lazy – I don’t peel my apples when I make any of them. Why should I? There are a lot of nutrients in apple peels that you would be removing. One half of an apple’s vitamin C is located just under the skin, which would be removed with peeling.  One peeled apple has 1 grams of fiber, while an unpeeled apple has 3 grams of fiber. It is this fiber content that scientists say helps reduce the risk of chronic health problems. In addition, scientists believe that the peel contains beneficial phytochemicals, which help give apples an anti-cancer effect. Besides, sometimes leaving apple peels on, especially when red, creates a pleasant color splash to the apple sauce and apple pie. Some could argue that thick apple peels make for a weird texture in cooking, but I think removing apple peels are for finicky eaters and the rich who can afford the labor to remove them – only to be striping the apple of some of its health benefits.

"Cricket Bread" blogger cooking apple sauce

To make apple sauce, I simply cut up an apple into chunks. I actually have a medical condition that makes it difficult for me to eat apples unless they are cut up, so I have an apple slicer. Once I use the apple slicer, which saves time on cutting and actually reduces waste compared to manual cutting, I then cut up the apple into chunks and throw it into a large pot and start to cook them on medium heat while stirring. At the beginning, it will need about ¼ cup of liquid, which could come from apple juice or water. I might add some lemon juice to help make it a little tart. When the apples get softer, I’ll think about adding spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. My father and I agree there is no such thing as too much cinnamon. If I am making sauce out of pears instead of apples, I will primarily use cinnamon and ginger. Anyway, I’ll cook it until it is a consistency I like, and then I will either can the sauce, or I will put it in Ziploc bags and freeze it.

As far as making an apple pie, I make a pie out of whatever apples I have, and don’t worry if they aren’t granny smiths or something. Again, I chop them up into bite sized pieces, but smaller this time. I put the apple bits into a bowl, and then I season them and add a little bit of sugar, but not much. My father gets a little creative, sometime substituting things like maple syrup for sugar, or throwing in raisins. Raisins do add sugar, so ease up on sweeteners if you use them, but be aware that raisins will reabsorb liquid and plump up, leaving the pie a little bit drier than a pie without them. From there, I put the now ready apple filling into a pre made pie crust. My mother gave up a long time ago making pie crusts from scratch and simply buys pre made pie crusts from the refrigerator section in a grocery store. If I’m lazy enough not to peel the apples, then I’m not going to make a crust from scratch, either. Then I bake the pie usually according the pie crust instructions. Make sure if you put a second crust on the top of the pie to poke holes in the crust with a fork to prevent a buildup of gas and steam that will otherwise pocket into the crust.

Actually, to be really lazy, I make an apple crisp instead. Mix up the apples as before, and then put them in a casserole pan. Then I make up the “crust”, which consists of oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter, and I will pat it down on top of the apples. If I’m going to use a recipe for this one, which is usually just for the crust and cooking time, I turn to Betty Crocker’s Apple Crisp Recipe.

Regardless if it is an apple pie or an apple crisp, both are very good with whipped cream or ice cream, and even better if it is homemade whipped cream or ice cream. Though, admittedly, I will have my apple crisp with a little bit of milk for breakfast.


3 Responses to “Apple Sauce, Pie, and Crisp”

  1. Lena Says:

    You know, I’m all over the apple crisp this year. (or in Swedish – smulpaj!) It’s a lot like yours but I don’t melt the butter, I just work it all together with a pastry cutter and then toss it over whatever fruit filling I concocted.

  2. […] Afterwards, we played board games and had a cheese cake with some cider syrup I had made and mixed in with some of my homemade apple sauce. […]

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