Monday, July 26, 2010


The first apples of summer.  Transparents are a very old apple.  Lodi apples, an another summer apple, are a good substitute.

Transparent apples are a very old apple and not readily available unless you live in Amish country or have access to a Farmer's Market.  They are the first apple of the new apple growing season.  There is one grower at the Grand Haven Farmer's Market who keeps one tree of Transparent apples going.  Transparents remind me of my Grandma making applesauce at the cottage and every year I have to get some Transparents to keep the tradition going.  Grandkids love homemade applesauce.  On the commerical market, Lodi apples are a newer variety of Transparents.  Summer apples are tart and quick to spoil.

Our Grandchildren are always happy when homemade applesauce is on the menu.

 Grandma's applesauce is truly quick and easy as there is no peeling or coring of the apples.  Her recipe is good for any kind of apple.  The best applesauce just like the best apple pies or cider are made with a variety of apples to give a well rounded taste of sweet and tart.  Applesauce made Grandma's way in the fall with red apples gives an applesauce with a pretty pink color.  However right now all we have are green apples.

My maternal Grandma, part of my extend family as we lived together, looking out the cottage window.  She is the same age that I am now.

To make Grandma's applesauce you need a food mill.  This is her old food mill before the Foley Food Mill was available.

Modern food mills look more like this althought the green handle one is from the 1920's and the red handle is from the 1940's or 1950's.  I have used the red handled one to make applesauce for 45 years.  Food mills are still available as I have bought them for my children.  Foley Food Mill was always the standard but Martha Stewart makes one too.  The new ones have removal plates with different sized holes for the food mill.  They are inexpensive and a nice addition to the kitchen.


Brown sugar
White sugar
Cinnamon, optional
A food mill

To make Grandma's applesauce.  Wash the apples under running water.  Quarter the apples and put them into a pot.  Add about a half cup of water.  Cover the pot.  Bring the apples and water to a boil, reduce temperature to Low, and cook, stirring often to prevent sticking, until the apples are soft.  Put a food mill on a bowl.  Put the cooked apples in the food mill, may have to do the apples in batches through the food mill,  and turn the handle until all that is left in the food mill are seeds and a little skin.  Discard seeds and skin. 

Add brown sugar and white sugar to taste.  It is impossible to give measurements as each batch made with different apples require different amounts.  Towards the end of fall the apples available are so sweet that I frequently don't add any sugar.

Add up to a  teaspoon of salt, depending on the amount of applesauce you make, to bring up the sweetness of the applesauce.  Add cinnamon taste.  Our family likes to use Vietnamese cinnamon for applesauce as the Vietnamese cinnamon is stronger and has a richer flavor than Chinese cinnamon.

Homemade applesauce freezes extremely well and can be canned using the directions in Ball's Blue Book on Canning.

Ingredients:  Apples, sugar, salt and cinnamon, if desired.  We like to use both light brown sugar and white sugar for a full bodied taste.  Adding cinnamon or not is your choice.

Wash apples under running water.

Quarter apples and put into a large pot.

Add a half-cup or a little more of water to the pot. Cover pot, bring to boil.  Reduce heat to Low, cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are soft.

Attach food mill to a bowl with its little feet.

This is what the apples look like when they are cooked.  Add cooked apples to the food mill.  You may have to do this in batches.  Turn handle until all the apples are pressed out of food mill.

Apples after they have been through the food mill.

All that is left of the apples after the applesauce is made.

Add brown sugar and white sugar to taste.

Add some salt to bring up the sweetness.  This is sea salt.

Add cinnamon to taste.  Cinnamon is optional.

A bowl of applesauce is accented by a little sprinkle of cinnamon.  Enjoy!!!


  1. Thanks for sharing this. Our last transparent tree died a few years ago. There are still some around here in Lane County, Oregon. I love the applesauce they make.

  2. Barb in Northeast OhioJuly 28, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    THANK YOU! I need to make a big batch of applesauce and I just bought 20 pounds of Lodi apples from the local apple farm, as they are the only ones available now in Northeast Ohio. The woman told me that they make great applesauce, but knew nothing about them. I googled "lodi apple recipes" and found you! This is just how I make my sauce, though usually later in the season with McIntosh - AND I use the cone food mill too! I look forward to browsing through your blog in days to come! Congrats. on the upcoming great grandchild-not for a long time for me, I have a 13 year old... Now that I know these are good apples for applesauce, I am looking forward to making it!

  3. The Lodi apples are great. Enjoy!! I love hearing from you.

  4. I have an old transparent tree in my yard, located in Bellingham, WA. Found your site today and am in the process of making your sauce now. My apples aren't so sweet, so I'll be adding sugar (raw) and cinnamon.