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I’m German. I only came to the U.S. in 2005, and there are many traditions I’ve never experienced, many foods I’ve never tasted, that make up a significant portion of U.S. American culture and everyday life. One such thing is apple picking at an orchard (and no, I have never been to a pumpkin patch, I haven’t been to a haunted hayride, and, alas, I’m too old to ever trick or treat), which my wife and American friends informed me could simply not be tolerated.

My first ever apple-picking adventure thus happened last weekend at Patterson Fruit Farms, in medium heavy rain and shin-deep mud, but we had an absolute blast. I got 15lbs of apples, a nice mix of Idared, Golden Delicious and Red Delicious apples. Regardless of the variety, the price for U-Pick apples was 96 cents per pound. My wife was hoping for tarter varieties such as Granny Smith, but we seem to have missed their season. Nevertheless, the apples we did get were wonderful!

When we got home, I immediately had to get going with applesauce making using my Idared haul, while the rest of the gang attacked the baking of apple pie! All in a tiny kitchen courtesy of our chauffeuring friend Larry, but it was a very fun afternoon.

So here goes, basic all-natural, no sugar added applesauce!
– 6 lbs apples
– 3 cups water
– 2 teaspoons cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
– half a lemon

Get peeling, coring, and roughly cubing! If you like your apple sauce with some bite, leave up to half the apples unpeeled.

2. Add the apple cubes to one or more large pots, slice the lemon and add the slices, pour water into pots and add cinnamon and nutmeg.

3. Turn heat to high to get a good boil going:

4. Cover, reduce heat to medium and boil for 20 minutes (apples should be soft) with frequent stirring. The end result should look somewhat like this:

5. Fish out the lemon slices and process everything else in batches to a food processor or blender if you like your applesauce smooth, otherwise use a potato masher.

And that’s it! Yields about 12 cups of sauce, and you can easily half or double to recipe according to your needs and kitchen space.