March 23, 2011

Homemade Applesauce Anyone?

Between last night and this morning I have peeled, cored, sliced, cooked, mashed, and canned, 30.7 lbs of apples.  It was a lot of work, but so totally worth it!  I came away with 9 Quarts and 4 Pints of Delicious Homemade Applesauce!  That totals 11 Quarts.  Boy oh Boy it is SOOO Good!
Do You have a desire to make and can or simply make and devour some wonderful homemade applesauce?

First go get your apples, for one batch of applesauce you'll need at least 24 medium apples.
If you can I would suggest going to the nearest apple orchard and picking your own.  This is an especially fun summer outing for the kids, mine are really little and they simply LOVE going to the orchard, I can't wait until they're actually old enough to help me pick the apples.

If the apple orchards around your are closed, or if they're simply aren't any orchards you can go to the store and purchase your apples there.  (Seems apple orchards aren't open in March I purchased mine at the grocery store.)

For today's applesauce I used 30.7 lbs of apples that was roughly 54 apples.  It yielded 11 Quarts.
The apples I used were a mixture of braeburn, fiji, golden delicious, and red delicious.
(6 Braeburn, 6 Golden Delicious, 6 Red Delicious and 9 Fiji Apples in each batch.)
Last fall I used strictly McIntosh apples, which was wonderful as well.  From what I understand, for a sweeter applesauce use as large of a variety of apples as you can, although applesauce from one type of apple will also be heavenly.

After you have your apples you can get to work.

To prepare your apples first, you have to peel them, core them, and slice them. 
Now I'd like to indroduce to my best friend during applesauce season:

The "Back to Basics" Apple Peeler, Corer, and Slicer.

This baby suctions to the countertop, I place an apple on the prongs, then simply turn the crank.  It peels my apples, then it slices and cores my apples. (I do my peeling first, then add the coring/slicing mechanism and run them through again.  It's designed to do them both at the same time, but I prefer to do it this way.)

This cuts my prep time in half!  I love it.

The apple slices are thin enough that they cook really quickly.

All I have to do is pull the core off the prongs and it's that easy.

Perfect apples every time.

It makes quick work of my apples ☺

**I will warn you this wonderful tool will not work with Red Delicious or any other soft apple.  It will destroy the core.  So if you are using Red Delicious or any soft or overripe apple, you'll have to peel by hand.  Sorry!**  You can find this tool online or I bought mine at Ace Hardware.

Once your apples are peeled, cored, and sliced, fit them into a large pot with a lid, along with 2 Cups Water.
If you need to overfill the pot to get your apples to fit you can, just put the lid on after the apples reduce a little.

I use my canner becaue it is simply the biggest pot I have.
Cook the apples for about 25-45 minutes, or until they are soft and can be easily mashed.

In the meantime wash your jars in hot soapy water, then place on a baking sheet and put in the oven at 200° for at least 20 minutes.  This sanatizes them and keeps them hot.  Also put your NEW seals in a small saucepan of boiling water until you're ready to use them.

Once your apples are fully cooked mash them.  I use a potato masher (your sauce will be chunky if you choose this method.)  You can also put it in the blender, a food processor, or if you're lucky enough to have a food grinder attachment for your kitchen aid, you can use that too.

Once your applesauce is mashed to your desired consistency, you can either pull your jars out of the oven and fill them.  Wipe the rims and lid with your new seals and rings.  OR you can add 3/4 to 1 1/4 C. Sugar, up to 1/2 tsp. Vanilla and desired amount of cinnamon, then fill your jars and lid them.

Process Applesauce in a Pressure canner at 5 pounds pressure.  Pints 8 minutes, Quarts 10 minutes.
It can also be processed in a Waterbath canner.  Pints 15 minutes Quarts: consult your pressure canner guide.

Once they are done processing and the pressure is relieved from your canner you can remove the cans.  Place them several inches apart to allow them to cool.  Placing them too close together can cause the jars to break.  Check the seals once jars are completly cool.  If the jars did not seal it will need to be refrigerated.

Lable the jars with the date.  Store for up to one year. 

Don't forget to save a little for yourself as a reward for all your hard work!

I love love love homemade applesauce.


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