I am a sucker for kitchen gadgets, I totally admit it. I have this great hand crank (no electricity required!) apple peeler/corer gadget, also peel potatoes, that I get a kick out of using. Whenever I get a few leftover apples in the fruit basket, I make apple pie or applesauce, so I pull out my apple peeler and make something yummy.
The peeler was a birthday gift, I believe it was purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond, but you can find them on Amazon as well. It suctions to the counter, has prongs on the end of the crank where you stick the stem end of the apple (bigger end) and peeler and corer attachments at the other end. When you turn the crank, the apple turns and moves towards and through the peeler and corer attachments, and you end up with a spiral cut apple with a hole through the middle. Since apples do now grow exactly round, I cut the apple into quarters lengthwise and trim any leftover skin or seed pits out, since these tough parts do not soften while cooking. And who wants to fish something out of a mouthful of applesauce or pie? Yuck. I have learned this contraption only works with peeling firm foods like apples or potatoes, and does not work on ripe pears. I still have to use a paring knife for those. But makes very, very quick work of an otherwise tedious task of peeling many apples.
I’ll have to post my apple pie recipe later, but since I made applesauce today, I’ll include that recipe here. I do not add sugar because it does not need it, but you can add cinnamon if you desire. I also have a habit of throwing in peeled, cored and sliced leftover ripe pears too, as cooked pears are so yummy. This makes great baby food, just blend to a fine consistency. I have also added blueberries to the cooking apples and pureed it all together to make blueberry applesauce baby food and froze it in ice cubes, a la Super Baby Food.
Peel, core and slice or cut up however many apples you have on hand, what ever kind, the sweeter the better (today I used Gala and Jonagold, about 6 total, with 3 pears thrown in as well). Put it all in a large pot (or small if it is just a couple of apples, does not really matter) with enough water to just cover the bottom of the pan. Bring the water to a simmer, put a lid on the pot and turn to low. Keep simmering until apples are so tender a spoon or fork will easily mash into apple mush. I rarely time it, maybe 15-20 minutes? It is not going to burn on low, and the lid keeps the juice from boiling away, so I usually just leave it and check on it after a while. When soft enough, remove from heat. Let cool until cool enough to handle. If you like chunky applesauce, just use a large fork or potato masher to mash-up the apples right there in the pot and serve. We like a more “store-bought” consistency, so I dump the pot into my blender and blend on “chop” for 1-2 minutes. If making baby food, add additional water or baby apple juice if needed, but blend on “puree” for 2-3 minutes, until very smooth. Baby food applesauce can be refrigerated for a few days in individual servings, or frozen in ice-cube trays and kept in freezer bags, then defrost in fridge or microwave.