Thursday, October 11, 2007

Canned Applesauce

Alright. Nobody raised a fuss, so I suppose I'll post the tutorial. I know some of you (if not most) already know how to do this, so please bear with me.

A few posts ago, when I wrote about the apple farm, I failed to mention that I had been communicating with the orchard's owner and he told me that all the apples on the ground were free. Yes, free food. We loaded up the car with helpers (aka children) and headed south to Penrose at the first opportunity. We gathered about 90+ lbs of apples! Praise God! Now, these were definitely not perfect apples, but free apples in exchange for a bit of chopping and removing bruised spots and twig holes was definitely worth it.

First off, gather all your supplies and make sure they are exceptionally clean. For successful canning, you have to kill all bacteria, or the lids won't seal and your food will spoil. Canning supplies include glass jars made exclusively for canning (like Ball or Mason jars), canning rings, new canning lids, a jar funnel, a bubble wand, a jar lifter, and a canning magnet. Because we're making applesauce, I'm also using a heavy duty strainer (shown above, made by Victorio). Also you need a very large canning kettle in which to process the jars. Please notice all the supplies are on a cutting board covered with a towel.

You also need apples.

First, wash the apples. This is a lot easier when the apples are from an orchard and not from the grocer and you don't have to deal with waxy apples.

Do not peel or core the apples, just remove the stems and quarter them. Place them in a large stock pot and cook until soft~ with enough water to make them not stick.

At this time, you want to fill the canning kettle with water and bring to a boil. My kettle holds 5 gallons and it takes quite a while to bring all that water to a boil.

I had an observer (optional)

When the apples are soft, run them through the strainer. Make sure you have a vessel to catch the pureed apples (I used 9x13 pan) and a vessel to catch the peels and pips. I think a loaf pan works wonderfully.

Return the pureed apples back to the stockpot and and add sugar and spices if desired. I think the rule of thumb is 1/4C.. sugar for each pound of apples you have, but that's completely up to you.
I didn't add any sugar or spices to this batch. (When we eat applesauce here, I top the kids' bowls with cinnamon sugar.)

Hopefully by now you kettle water is boiling, and if it is, boil your exceptionally clean empty jars and rings for 10 minutes to sterilize. When the water cools a bit, place the new lids in the hot water to sterilize. You don't want to get the lids boiling or too hot so that the sealing compound melts or doesn't seal later on. Take the rings and lids out of the water with the canning magnet.

Cook the applesauce until the color is to your liking .

Place the hot jars on your towel covered cutting board and fill the jars with the hot applesauce using the jar funnel. Do Not Overfill! Be sure that you do not fill the jars above the lowest thread or bad things will happen and the jar will not seal.

Remove the air bubbles from the jar with the bubble wand.

Top the jars with the lid and a canning ring. Tighten the rings but not so much that you can't open it easily later. Place the jars back in to the kettle and bring to a boil.

Process the jars for 20 minutes at a rolling boil.
Remove back to the towel covered cutting board and let cool. As they cool, you will hear little "pops" from the jars as they create a vacuum seal. You can know the jars are sealed when you press down on the lids and they do not pop back up.

Label with the contents and date. Store in your basement or pantry and use at your convenience.



Rebecca said...

I STILL haven't done my apples yet. I am *ALMOST* done canning season! I still have applesauce, apple butter (which I make in the roaster oven with some applesauce) and pumpkin butter. I am also going to try my hand at apple pie filling-if I can get a good price on nice apples.

I get 'deer apples' for $4.00 a bushel which is cheap...but not nearly as good as FREE! That is amazing!

How many quarts did you get out of all of those apples?!?

Mandie said...

I still have about 10 lbs left!
The apple in the tutorial were 1/3 of all the apples we got last weekend. I made 9 qts of applesauce, and 10 qts apple pie filling and I'm not sure what I'll do with the rest. Probably more applesauce. I want to make apple butter but we just don't eat toast and I don't want it to not be used. The only thing holding me back from more applesauce, it the fact that I'd have to wash that blasted strainer and 10 lbs of apples will shrink into what feels like 1 pint of applesauce~ you know how it goes. But we do use applesauce the most. Maybe more pie filling. I could make a strudel too. I don't know. I'm too indecisive. Whatever I'm doing, I had better do quickly~ those apples are definitely on their way out.

27 Year Old Retiree said...

Way to go, Susie Homemaker! I love the "observer optional" part. You are too funny! If you're looking for easy, quick, healthy recipes, check out Rachael Ray. I love her "express lane" cookbook. Most of her recipes include stuff I already have onhand. You can check her website too. Everything is SO yummy!

Uncle Jim said...

Yeah! Rachel Ray is the best. Her shows are so fun to watch! If I got a personal chef it would be her.

blogless blogger said...

I would say that Rachel Ray needs to actually get a cooking degree - but that would be too mean. So I'll just say that she needs to study up on her grammar: yumm-o and e-v-o-o are not words and never will be.
Just kidding :D

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