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.
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!
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.
You can find me linked up at: Homestead Revival, Nourishing Traditions, Penniless Parenting, Raising Homemakers, Raising Mighty Arrows, Deep Roots at Home, Fingerprints on the Fridge