Back in mid October, I bought a huge box of these gorgeous Empire apples:

The folks at Allred Orchards assured me they would be best if I ate them quickly, or at least refrigerated them. Of course I didn’t, since that would have meant cleaning out my fridge, which I don’t ever do if I can possibly help it. Anyway, they ended up looking sad and wrinkly. Well, maybe not sad.

They’re still a pretty color. But they are definitely wrinkly. So I turned them into applesauce. To get the pink color, you’ll need to cook the apples with their skins on, and then pass them through a food mill. Some of you might have one of these in the back of your cupboards somewhere, or in the back of your mother’s cupboard, or her mother’s. If you can possibly borrow one indefinitely, do it. Just tell your mom Sophistimom said you needed it. And then make her some applesauce, or perfect mashed potatoes. Otherwise, you might just want to buy one. Back in 2010, I went on a kick where I was using my food mill for everything, but then I sort of slowed down for awhile. I still love it, though. If someone wants to know what to get you for Christmas, ask for one!!

Pink Applesauce

12-15 smallish bright red skinned organic apples, such as Empire or Macintosh
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Cut the flesh off the apples by either coring the apples and removing the seeds on each slice, or by slicing the cheeks off the apples and avoiding the cores. Place apple pieces in a large pot with a lid, pour in water, add in zest, and cinnamon. Cover and set over low heat.

2. Cooking time will vary, as not all apples will have the same moisture content. Stir the apples occasionally, and replace the lid. Add in a little water as necessary to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pot. Cook until apples are fork tender. Fit the food mill with the plate with the largest holes, and pass all the apples through the mill. Serve warm, or refrigerate.

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