Everything I read about making applesauce indicates that this is very easy to do. I am sure it is, but this being my first time, I wanted to share with you my first time experience! I was very excited about making applesauce, and aside from doing pickles this is the first fruit that I am canning. And, why do they call it canning when you are putting this up in jars? I don’t know, but let’s get to it shall we?
I researched and discovered that it takes 3 pounds of apples to make one quart jar of sauce, so with 12 quart jars, I bought about 36 pounds of apples. Daunting to say the least!
A mix of apples
Now that is one huge pile, don’t you think? This mix is made up of Matsu, Fuji, Gala, Winesap and Red Delicious apples.
One of the recipes that I found said to just wash and cut up your apples, coring them, and them cook the apples with the skins on. Then after cooking the apples you run them through a mill and then after that you run them through a sieve, thereby removing the skins… I thought, “Why run them through a sieve when you can peel and core them and just skip that step?”
With this in mind, I attacked the pile of apples armed with my peeler! This was lots of peeling as this photo will show!
Lots of peeling!
To break up the monotony I peeled 6 at a time. I had a huge cook pot filled with water so that I could keep the apples from browning. Heading to the cutting board, I used my handy dandy apple corer slicer! This worked like a charm! Look at these lovely even pieces…
Peel and core the apples
Once sliced then I cut them into three chunks per slice and dropped them into the pot of water.
Cut into chunks
I had gone through about one third of the pile of apples and this cook pot was getting very full. Estimating the size of the kettle I was going to cook these down in, I had enough for the first batch of sauce. I wondered how much I would get out of this group.
Now while I was working on this, I ran my jars through a sanitizing wash in the dishwasher. When recounting this to my friend and neighbor Kathy, she told me I could have saved time by filling the jars with water and doing this in the canning pot, which is what you use to process the jars with…Thanks for the tip Kathy, and I will do this next time!
Now you might remember that my range/oven combo died back in March. Yes, we have been without a stove since then. We are planning a remodel of our kitchen and have not found a range yet that we want, so I have been cooking on butane cooking stoves. Well guess what? I ran out of gas just as I was starting to cook and start my processing water! So everything went on hold as I drove to town to get butane, which took me about an hour to do…
Upon returning home armed with 20 cans of butane, I set back to work. I spooned the apples out of the water where they had been sitting into a large pot. I added 3/4 cup of water and a shake of cinnamon. I gave it a quick stir.
Ready to cook
Set the heat on the apples to medium, cover and cook. They only take about 20 minutes to cook. Stir occasionally. Here they are after being cooked. You can see that they do not cook down too much.
The next step is to puree the apples, which I did using my Cuisinart processor and the regular blade. Spoon in the apples using a slotted spoon.
Apples go into the processor
Use the pulse button. After about a minute, this is what you end up with!
Next, fill your jars, removing any air bubbles as you go. Fill the jars to 1/4″ from the top of the jar.
Fill the jars
Place the lid on and stick this into your canning pot, making sure that the lids of the jars are under water. Boil for 20-25 minutes. While this is doing its thing, I got to cleaning the kitchen. By now hours had gone by and we were approaching happy hour. Now let’s talk about the pot that you cooked the apples in. There is all this lovely liquid left in the pot, which is made up of that 3/4 cup of water and the rest is the juice from the apples. If you strain this juice you will have a lovely, not too sweet apple juice!
The by-product Apple Juice!
Needless to say, I was only able to do about 1/3 of the apples, which gave me a little more than 3 quarts. I plan on finishing the rest next weekend, including some shortcuts that Kathy told me about. I had the kitchen all cleaned up, and we sat with our happy hour cocktail waiting for the apples to finish processing. The applesauce that did not make it into the jars? I am serving this tonight with my Oven Fried Pork Chops!
When the buzzer went off, I pulled the jars and set them on a cooling rack, which is another pointer from Kathy. Here are the finished jars. The jars processed just fine with each top making that popping noise to let me know that they were good!
Applesauce is done!
Well, this was a rather long post…I hope that you made it to the end! Has anyone made a sauce like this using pears? I was thinking that this would be really good too, especially served with pork! Please let me know!
Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great Sunday!
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