Last summer we bought a food mill because I wanted to sauce a million tomatoes. While, this goal has not yet been realized, but I have discovered that food mills are great little tools to keep in the home kitchen. Previously, my only experience with them was in larger commercial kitchens.
A food mill is basically a strainer with a paddle attached, that pushes material through the strainer, making a purée of varying granularity, depending on which strainer-plate you fit it with. It’s a human-powered tool, which I like, and it does one very useful thing that blenders, mashers, and food processors cannot: it separates skins, stems, and seeds from the finished product.
So now I am on an applesauce kick, right in time for, uh, spring. I like mine unsweetened and unflavored, so all there is to do is cook apples and then turn them into sauce. Rather than peeling and coring, I just hacked them into rough chunks and cooked them on the stove in my dutch oven until tender. Once cool enough to be safe, I poured the apples into the food mill and let Finch have at turning the crank. Easiest. Snack. Ever.
Here’s what went in:
And here’s what came out:
This applesauce is slightly darker in color than one made from peeled and cored apples, and, to be honest, there are some teeny-tiny flecks of skin that managed to sneak through. But for an investment of maybe six minutes total work time, and perhaps thirty minutes start to finish, it’s a pretty good deal.
In addition to saucing tomatoes and apples, I also like my food mill for “mashing” or ricing potatoes. Some people send soup through food mills, too, though I have yet to try that at home. Do you use a food mill at home? What does it do best for you?