With apples in season and fall rapidly replacing summer, it is time to consider all the possibilities you have in using apples.
My father loved to make homemade applesauce. He would gather his bag or basket of apples next to him. Spread out newspaper on the table. Collect his small paring knife and a bowl to capture all the apple slices. Then, would begin to peel every apple, without a peeler, but with his small paring knife. Round and round he would go around every apple making only one long curly peel from every apple. I loved watching him and would be amazed that he would never break the continuous peel and would get so close to the apple so as not to waste a bit of apple flesh. He would chop up his apples in hand right over the bowl and every slice or chunk was perfectly chopped. My father was neat and so particular. I would watch him make his applesauce. He would place the chopped, peeled apples into a saucepan and add about 1 1/2" of water to the bottom.
Then add about a cup of sugar...or more, depending on the tartness of the apples. He would sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and I hate to say, an entire stick of butter. I use about 2 teaspoons. He would turn on the heat to medium and place a lid on top.
The apples would steam and cook in the saucepan. He would check on them to make sure they wouldn't stick or to see if they were evenly cooking.
A potato masher would work just fine. He would stir and mash the apples till they were smooth, and consistently mixed.
Now, I like chunks in my applesauce and do not like it puréed. The type of apples you use will dictate the finished product as well. Some apples maintain their shape even after baking or cooking, while others tend to fall apart and soften. This site, the Natural Hub, is helpful with understanding types of apples.
Applesauce is task oriented with peeling, coring and chopping. Once you place the apples on the stove to cook...you are home free. But it is the flavor that is the most rewarding. You will not reach for another store bought jar again. You may also make applesauce and process it in sterile jars to set aside for the future.
I love the fact that applesauce reminds me of my father and good memories as a child.
"All great change in America begins at the dinner table.
~ Ronald Reagan
"Why do we need so many different kinds of apples? Because there are so many different kinds of folks. There is merit in variety itself. It provides more points of contact with life, and leads away from uniformity and monotony."
-Liberty Hyde Bailey in 'The Apple Tree', 1922