October 21, 2011

Canning Applesauce


This was my first time ever making and canning applesauce and I have to say that NEVER (hopefully) again, will I purchase applesauce from a store.  Making your own applesauce is an extremely easy thing to do and the reward is incredible!

First I have to say that again, I feel very blessed to get some good apples this year since Missouri apples are practically non-existant.....
see Canning Apple Butter, and this time our bounty was 25 pounds of Fuji apples.  They smelled incredibly sweet so I decided to try my hand at making applesauce with them.  After researching different methods and recipes online, I decided to try what looked the easiest.  It turns out that it wasn't the easiest.....for me anyway, so I did it a bit different the second time around.  Both batches are extremely delicious and I have now vowed to get a big strainer for next year so I can do great big batches all at once.

I began by using my simple corer and slicer tool and went through about half of the 25 pounds of apples pretty fast.  


The instructions I had found stated to simply core and slice them, cook them down and fish out the peels later with tongs.  Sounds easy right?  HA!  I spent nearly 20 minutes standing over a hot pot of apples with tongs trying to fish out cooked peels that were impossible to see.

Anyway.....
In the stockpot I put about 1/2 a cup of apple cider to keep the apples from sticking and then cooked them on medium low heat until the apples could be squished with a wooden spoon.  "Squished" is a technical kitchen term in my dictionary!  The picture below is of the second batch of applesauce where I had actually peeled the apples first....much easier for me since I don't have a fancy apple strainer.  Another note is that these were hand peeled because of their odd shape.....the apple peeler was not efficient enough for them. 


The apples were so sweet, I didn't have to add any sugar which makes me jump for joy!  I did add a bit of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves.  At this point a potato masher or hand stick blender can be used to blend the apples into the consistency you desire.  I like mine a bit chunky, but not too much.  Then jar up your applesauce leaving 1/4" headspace and process following the directions in your canning book.


My family has decided it makes a great dessert and should be added to every meal!

Applesauce

4 pounds apples
1/2 cup apple cider
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves (I only used 1/4 tsp.)

Add apples and cider to stock pot, cook over medium to low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes until apples are pretty soft, but not too soft.  (squishy)  Add spices and mix with a stick blender or mash with a potato masher.  Add a bit of sugar if needed.

I've had several friends tell me about their recipes that call for a few red hot cinnamon candies in the batch to add taste and color.  It sounds interesting, but I can't imagine adding a bit of processed food to a pure food recipe, not to mention the fact that it adds red dye to your finished product, but to each his own.  As for my family, we'll stick to the plain jane method.

Happy canning!!


20 comments:

  1. I just wanted to tell you about our trip down through the Ozark Mountains this week! We went down 65 into Arkansas and it was just beautiful! I would love to find a secluded place down there! Beautiful country. I live more north (80 SW of St. Louis). Thanks for sharing this Applesauce recipe! We go through a lot of it! now I know I can make it myself.

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  2. I am SO glad you got down this way! It is a beautiful time here as I'm sure it is all over this great country. Something about these hills and the people though....I'm glad to say it's home for us. I'd highly recommend visiting the Ozark Folk Center in Arkansas and the Glade Top Trail south of Ava, MO this time of year! Let me know if you find an easier way to make the applesauce!

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  3. Great post....I have been making applesauce for over 25 years...and it's different every year based on the apples...that's the nice thing about it...and of course it's easy. My children love to help as well.

    Have a great weekend.
    Connie

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  4. Yummy, looks good. I will have to try making apple sauce hopefully soon. Glad it was easy and thanks for the skin story, it will help me too.

    Just butchered 17 chickens yesterday, so today I'll be cleaning then up a bit more and canning them. Yeeehaw!

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  5. Yummy! I'm making lots of applesauce right now to.
    Thanks for linking up to the blog hop!

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  6. I love your name and think of "Little House on the Prairie" when I see it. Whenever I've made applesauce, I end up putting it through the blender and then I don't worry about the peels :)

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  7. Sassy~ we butchered chickens this year too and learned a bunch from it for our first time.....mostly what not to do! That's a whole separate post by itself, which I hope to get to now that things have slowed down.

    Jo~ we are only 20 minutes away from Laura Ingalls Wilder's home so that's funny you should say that! I wondered about putting the apples through the blender to take care of the peels, thank you for verifying that for me! I put my tomatoes through the blender with the peels before cooking them down for sauce, so I thought it would work for the apples too, but I didn't try it. I LOVE great advice!

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  8. Yummy! Found you via Shabby Nest. Would love for you to link up to my weekly Things I've Done Thursday party that runs until noon EST on Saturday. We also have a custom blog button giveaway going on right now!!

    Melanie
    http://bearrabbitbear.blogspot.com/2011/10/things-ive-done-thursday-and-blog.html

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  9. I have 6 boxes of apples in the root cellar calling my name... it's that time again. I LOVE homemade applesauce! After canning it yourself the stuff you buy doesn't even seem like food:) Happy to meet you, Kelsey

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  10. This looks SO good! I had homemade apple sauce for the first time yesterday at a friend's house. This is my first time visiting your blog. It's really nice! It's nice to *meet* you as well. :)

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  11. Looks delicious. I love my homemade applesauce too. I would never have thought about using a stick blender, but I bet it does work well.

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  12. Sharon, Welcome to 'Encouraging One Another'!! What a great and delicious (looking and smelling) post! Thank you for sharing :) I agree that it is best not to add red hots...we used to do those kinds of additives, but we started to get sick more often. No more. I'm a plain jane, too! I can't wait to get to know you through your blog and your link-ups. I like to read each entry and comment, but it gets harder and harder. LOL But I enjoy it os much! Blessings!

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  13. Thanks for sharing! I always use a Victorio Strainer to make my applesauce! Apple sauce is so good to have in storage! Visit me at http://raisingdieter.blogspot.com/ New Follower!

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  14. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures' Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    I would love to feature you, but I don't see a link back :)

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  15. Lea ~ Thank you for reminding me! Everyone needs to see all of the great health topics you offer :)

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  16. I just found your blog and I cannot wait to go read some more of it. We make applesauce with Ida Red apples that we pick up here in Wisconsin and their beautiful red skins are the only color we use in our applesauce. I applaud you for not adding Red Hots. :-) When I make applesauce I use a food mill to separate the skins from the pulp.

    So glad I found your beautiful blog!
    Heather

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  17. Sharon, how did you finish the canning process? Did you pressure cook or water-ath can -? ? ?

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    1. Great question! I'm sorry I wasn't more complete with the post. I fill my quart jars leaving 1/4" headspace, then hot water bath for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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  18. I used my hand cranked apple corer and it cuts off the skin when it spins around. Save the skins and cores in the freezer to make jelly later. I actually leave the skins on most of my apples when I do sauce. I don't add spices...but might now that you mentioned it! It sounds good :) Sarah

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