Criss Cross Applesauce Day
Fall means apples for me. I start in August making apple butter and then continue on through December, reveling in one of our locally grown fruits. Many of the old orchards have been pulled out to make way for the vineyards, but there are still plenty around. It is a reminder to me though that time doesn’t hold still; where I used to drive past orchards as a child, where you could only see trees, there is now rolling hills of vineyards, and the land seems more open and horizon more visible.
But local orchards still survive and that means I can still capture a little bit of my childhood each fall. I can remember smelling cinnamon and apples, the scent filling our house as my dad cooked up a big pot of homemade applesauce. For the next few days we’d eat cold, chunky, unsweetened, cinnamony applesauce from the fridge, but that warm bowl right after it was done was probably the best treat of all.
Well, although I grew up with out a microwave, times have changed and we now have one in our home (although, I have to admit, not much used except for popcorn). It does however, come in handy if you’d like to make applesauce without using your stovetop, or where there is no stovetop– like at school.
I tried this first last year in both my kids’ classrooms, and it worked so well we did again this year. The kids all love tasting what they’d made and especially love using the apple-peeler-corers. Of course, I forgot my camera, so I don’t have in photos to share of the day, but I did cook up some of their leftovers when I got home. Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it yourself.
Microwave Applesauce- for the classroom or home!
apples– if you are doing this in a classroom do one per child. If you are doing this at home, about 10 apples (give or take) can be made in one batch.
1/3-1/2 cup water (or apple juice, but water seems to work just as well)
cinnamon and sugar to taste
(don’t you love ingredient lists this short!)
Peel, core and chop your apples. We used apple-peeler-corers (loading and unloading the apples for the children and letting them do the cranking (the way the clock goes)), but you can do this by hand as well– I have in the past for my apple butter, and it can be therapeutic and feels a little less like a factory then using the contraption. Place apples in a medium glass microwaveable bowl. Have the children (or you) sprinkle cinnamon, and sugar if you desire (I do just to give the children something else to sprinkle), then stir up. Add the water, cover with plastic wrap (or otherwise cover so that they can steam). Cook for 10-15 minutes. If your microwave doesn’t rotate, rotate it every 4-5 minutes. When the apples feel soft take them out and smash— I use an immersion blender– if you do it by hand it will probably be a bit chunkier. Let it cook– then eat.