Help me, quick! I'm making homemade applesauce and there's a ton of liquid??
Ok so I decided to make applesauce for my baby today.
Looked up a couple recipes and it seemed super easy. Apples, water, cinnamon and a little sugar. Got it going on the stove with the water level about 1/3 of the way up the apples, but now after cooking for awhile, there's a TON of liquid.
I'm assuming this is the apple juice cooking out but do I leave the lid on or off?? I don't want watery applesauce! And I don't want it to get dry either.
So far I've been leaving it on, but when it's almost done, I'm thinking just leave it off and let any excess liquid boil off??
Is that right??
PS Yes this is my first time making applesauce. No I'm not an idiot. I just don't want all the apples (and the forever it took to peel/core/chop them!) to go to waste. :D
Do you have a stick blender? I would blend it up and check the consistency. You can always cook it down - it will become thicker and more silky, but also more concentrated, like apple butter.
For what it's worth, you can also make applesauce by just tossing cored, peeled, and quartered apples into a stock pot with just a little water or apple cider (just enough to cover the bottom of the pot with about 1/2" of liquid). It's great for babies, because it has no added sugar. And if you have a food mill, you don't even need to core or peel the apples - just toss them in the pot halved or quartered.
You don't need a half inch of liquid. I put only a half cup, or less, into a 3qt pot filled with unpeeled, uncored quartered apples and turn the heat to medium. The water is there only to prevent scorching until the apples start to release juice, which happens within 2-3 minutes. It's necessary to stir periodically so the pieces break down evenly before putting the cooked mush through the food mill. Once the sauce is pureed, I add cinnamon and sweeten if needed.
Apples in the northeast this year seem to be waterlogged due to late-summer rains, so the sauce needs to be reduced a bit to intensify the flavor. Likewise, I am adding reduced apple cider when baking with apples. The other way to go is to cook the apples down before using them but I prefer to have pieces that still hold their shape.
Just leave the lid off and let it simmer down.
For next time and if it's helpful, you can start the apples without water or sugar. I use a spoonful of frozen apple juice concentrate to just provide some sweetness and liquid to get the steaming started until the apples render their own juice. Their own juice is more than enough liquid. I still have to simmer some of that away before it's done to my liking.
I also put a cinnamon stick in the bottom of the pot with the juice concentrate for additional flavor. It's easily removed when the applesauce is done and I'm just discovering you can rinse it off and reuse it, seemingly, indefinitely. I know a cinnamon stick doesn't cost much but, apparently, it's just not "done" with a single use if applesauce is something you'll be making frequently.
I am making applesauce weekly for my grandson right now too.
PS Langers makes a frozen apple juice concentrate in a container with a screw top lid so you can use a spoonful and return the rest to freezer storage. And that's convenient because the juice will act as a non-sugar sweetener for all kinds of things like oatmeal and rice cereal. It's also a great "mystery ingredient" in sauces.
I ALWAYS burn things when I let them simmer to reduce. So, instead, I drain whatever is too wet, and just simmer the liquid without the solids.
For next time, just add enough water to cover the bottom of the pot, as RosemaryHoney said. Works for pear sauce, too. (Anybody need any kieffer pears--I am tired ot peeling.)
With a slotted spoon remove the apples from the liquid or if they are too broken down you can use a sieve to lessen the total amt. of liquid. Then either use a blender, a food processor or hand mash the apples depending on the consistency you prefer. Sweeten to taste. (I never add sugar, and sprinkle cinnamon as I enjoy it) Then, the next time you make applesauce only start out with enough water (I actually don't use water, but apple cider) to just cover the bottom only of the pot. Add your prepared apples, lid and simmer on low until the apples swell. If you need more liquid add it in very small measures and keep checking the apples for softness. You're no idiot greenduck--you knew you could salvage your first try and now you'll be making applesauce like an expert in no time!
As for that apple "water" it's drinkable, great in cocktails, added to soup broth or saved for the next batch of applesauce.
You're fine...you can let it cook longer with the lid off to reduce the liquid, or skim off the excess liquid and reduce it in a pan separately if you don't want the solids to cook any longer, or you can pour off the excess liquid, give it a tiny shot of lemon juice and either have homemade apple juice for kiddo, or freeze the apple juice/liquid in ice cube trays for smoothies or flavored ice cubes for lemonade or cocktails. It will also be slightly less watery when it cools, most likely due to some of the pectin in the apples...I used to make applesauce all the time for my two.