I spent the entire day yesterday in the kitchen canning applesauce. It's not rocket science but it is time consuming. The hardest or should I say the longest part is the peeling and coring and chopping. But if you enlist some help, pop in a movie and go to town you are all set. Next year I'm totally enlisting help.
Why do I want to make my own applesauce? Well I hear it taste better than store bought, but aren't most homemade foods? But seriously I'm tired of spending $4 a jar on organic, sugar free applesauce. It's an item that is always on our shopping list. And the amount of glass jar waste makes me sick to my stomach. By making it myself not only are the boys eating fresh, in season apples but we can keep recycling the jars for next years canning.
It's an all day event, I'm not going to lie, but to me it's worth it.
Fill the biggest pot you own with about an inch of water and pour in the chopped apples leaving 3 inches from the top. Cover and boil. Reduce to medium/low and continue to "cook down". Every once in a while lift the lid and give it a stir. Once all the apples are cooked down I use a hand held masher to make sure all the pieces are mashed. Pour into your canning jars and place in a water bath canner for 20 mins in a rolling boil. Next year Mom has promised to teach me the secret family recipe for apple butter. YUMMY!
Awesome! Have you thought about getting an apple corer/peeler/slicer? Made the job much easier! Plus...the kids wanted to help out!
oh I totally need to get one! Especially if child labor gets to happen. :)
Keep an eye out for a Foley Food Mill. This thing looks like a two-quart saucepan with a perforated bottom, but it has a spindle in the middle that rubs a paddle over the top of the perforations and a wire scraper over the bottom of the perforations as you turn the handle. Google it to see pictures and them look for one at yard sales.
With the food mill all you have to do with your apples is wash and quarter them before you steam them. When the hot apples are fully cooked, you spoon them into the food mill and crank. The inner paddle rubs the soft apple innards through the bottom of the mill. The wire scraper scrapes the sauce off the pan and into a bowl below. The stems, skins and seeds stay behind in the mill, ready for you to dump in the compost. If you want your applesauce thicker, you can continue to cook it down from this point.
Applesauce made this way will keep a bit of the color from the skin. Jonathan apples, which have a bright red color, make a slightly pink applesauce and Grimes Golden sauce is yellow with just a touch of green. Very pretty.
I also use my food mill to make pumpkin for pies and muffins. I cut the baking pumpkins in half, scoop out the seeds and then bake cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet in a low oven until the pumpkin flesh is tender. Scoop the flesh out into the food mill and process. I like to do it this way because it save me a lots of time that I don't have to spend paring and cutting the raw pumpkin, plus the baking method of cooking does not add water to the pumpkin, so I don't have to cook it down.
I also endorse OrganicEyes suggestion. Those things are just plain cool.
Congratulations on your success with canning. Welcome to the wonderful world of a larder filled with fabulous food you can call your own!
Gretchen, this is the mill I was talking to you about. DON'T get one. "It is in the Mail", so to speak.
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