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Old 08-11-2010, 08:44 AM   #1
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ISO Applesauce advice

I am not looking for a recipe for applesauce, I have been making it for years. My concerns are that my father needs to take all his medication with it and I am going through a 750 ml jar every couple of days and he is finding it bland. I prefer to use homemade

It must be sugar free and very smooth. Of course I will blend it, but some apples hold their texture better and others will go mushy quicker. I want something that has body but is easy to swallow.

What I am looking for is opinions on how I can make a tasty sauce and if doing a large batch (I usually just make it fresh whenever I want it) is it better to freeze or can it. And how long will it keep this way.

- What apples, or combination, will make the best tasting and smooth sauce
- Does anyone have experience using a natural sweetener such as stevia for freezing or canning sauce and does it work well?
- other than cinnamon, is there something I can use to bring out the flavour?

Thanks!

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Old 08-11-2010, 10:59 AM   #2
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Just to keep in mind: My father takes some medications that reduce his sense of taste to the point that everything tastes bland. It can also occur as a malady with age. I'm not saying that any of this applies to your situation, but be aware that it can happen.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:03 AM   #3
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Thanks, Selkie, I realize all that. I am just trying to make it easier for him and stick to my preference for homemade!
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:18 AM   #4
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You could try adding pears for a little subtle flavor change and sweetness.

Make a small batch and use cardamon instead of cinnamon.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:20 AM   #5
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Thanks, Janet, I love the pear idea. I make a pear compote but never thought to mix it with the apples.

I would have to use very little cardomom for him, but I'll like it so I will give it a try.

Any advice on freezing vs canning?
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:00 PM   #6
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Around the holidays Spiced Apples are popular with my family. You might try blending some Spiced Apple Rings (minus the skins) with your regular apple sauce mixture.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:54 PM   #7
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If you have good ripe apples, you shouldn't need any (or much) sugar. You could add some splenda if that's allowed. When I make applesauce (what they called it up north, but here in VA they call it cooked apples) I always use a combination of apple varieties. If you don't want chunks, you can use nice ripe golden delicious and macintosh combination. The golden delicious to me, has that sweet-tart flavor, and the ripe macintosh has mainly sweet. I normally add granny smith for texture and tartness, but then I need to add sugar, which you don't want. I'd say a ratio of 3/4 golden delicious to 1/4 macintosh should yield a fairly well ballanced flavor, without sugar. If you can't get macintosh, you can try empire or gala. If you can't get golden delicious, try braeburn. They'll change the texture a bit and won't mush as much, but you'll still have the flavor, and you can run it through the blender.

I always add butter to my sauce - it makes it just a little richer. And a little goes a long way. Just a tsp for 3 lbs of apples. You can use a little alspice or cloves instead of cinnamon, but not too much. But instead of adding spices, try adding some big pieces of the apple skins. They add flavor, and you can pull them out before blending. From my experiences, the longer and slower you cook the sauce, the more flavor it will have. Remember -ripeness counts. Good luck!
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:28 PM   #8
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A couple of whole cloves set into the mixture partner the apple flavour beautifully. Along with Bramleys, sometimes I'll add a few Coxs, or Blenheim Orange, the latter a beautiful dessert apple of lasting fragrance. The best part of stewed apple is the taste and aroma, reminiscent of misspent childhood scrumpings in an old orchard.
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:11 PM   #9
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As a pill base, we've branched out to all types of pureed fruit, peaches, apricots, pears, oranges, pineapple...applesauce gets pretty boring after awhile. Also a sugar-free pudding is a nice change.

I would go with freezing your applsauce or fruit purees, takes much less time than canning. And you can freeze it in small containers of about 1 cup volume.
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:44 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. You have been most helpful. I probably knew some of this but I am so tired these days (so this is what it is like to bring a newborn home Only mine is 85! But I wouldn't change a thing on the choice to bring him home).

This is great information and once I process it all, and have some time, I will do some experimenting, which I love to. We do have macintosh (a British Columbia pride and joy!) and golden delicious but I would love to experiment with all the others as well. I come from apple country but most of what we get here are imported or the lesser local crops (except at the farm markets). All the good stuff is exported elsewhere.

Those are all great alternatives, PrincessFionna. I bought a whole pile of sugar-free puddings knowing he likes them so much as an alternative to the applesauce. Only problem is he can't take dairy with some of the medications. Also thanks for the tip on freezing.
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