Thursday, September 20, 2012

Making Applesauce

Well these aren't from my garden, but from the farmers market. I finally got their early enough to get their cheap 10 lb bags. Well cheap is a relative term. They are $8 per bag. As you can see I got three kinds. I find sauce is better with more varieties. Cortlands are kind of interesting apples. Lots of people like them for sauce since they stay white more than other apples. They don't tend to turn brown. For me that is a moot point. I put cinnamon into my sauce so it always turns a bit brown.

Every year I seem to do the preparation differently. Some year I toss in the cores. Some times I take out the seeds. I don't like to add the seeds since they contain a poison (not that it would get into the sauce, but I'm paranoid). One year I added the cores and all. The sauce was way too thick. There is a lot of pectin in those cores. This year I took the cores out. I don't peel them. I like the flavor of the skins. I remove them with my strainer after they are cooked. All of my apples are IPM apples since the skins are going in. So some of the apples have to be cleaned up a bit. There is occasionally insect damage and scab. They all get cut out.

I don't cook the sauce all that long. Just enough for the apples to break down well. I want them to go through my strainer easily. Once they are strained I add sugar and cinnamon. I don't add much sugar, maybe a cup for 15 pounds of apples. But I taste until it is good, but not overly sweet.

Thirty pounds of apples makes 21.5 pints of sauce. They took a while to make, but we will appreciate them. I find homemade applesauce so much better than the stuff at the store. That is so tasteless. I don't know why. It is canned for goodness sake. Not much to it. Of course making all this took me quite a while. About four hours in all, though not all of that was at the stove since I had to wait for the jars to process. I had to make the sauce in two batches since my pots aren't big enough to hold 30 lbs. And I had to can in three batches since my water bath canner holds 7 pints. I probably should have brought up my pressure canner (but not pressurized it). It holds a lot more than my little water bath canner.

I'm linking this up to Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard over at the Gardener of Eden. I'm supposed to be writing about things I'm preserving from the garden. Hmm apples aren't from the garden. So I will say just to make it legal that I have been curing my sweet potatoes for storage. I keep wondering how many pounds of potatoes I have in there. I won't know until I'm done though. I can't wait to start eating them. But tonight we get to eat applesauce for dinner.

17 comments:

  1. That sure is a lot of applesauce! Right now I have some peaches and pears to can and then I can think about doing some applesauce!

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  2. Yummy. I bet your house smells wonderful right now. :)

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  3. My mom makes the BEST applesauce IMO. No sugar added, leaves in chunks of apples. But that means that the apples need to be peeled first. Lots of work:( I pretty much don't like any other applesauce that I've tried, just hers and when I make her recipe.

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    1. She didn't used to do it that way. She used to make it with the peels like I do and run it through the food mill. And she used to use Macs and Cortlands and the applesauce would turn out pink. Maybe that was because it was for Joel. Joel hates chunks.

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  4. I have noticed that you guys in America eat a lot of applesauce. In Australia we tend to eat it with roast pork, but not much at other times. How do you eat it? I can't Imagine getting through those quantities in a decade, let alone a year!

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    1. Whoops I put your response down below.

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  5. We love our home canned applesauce too. It is a lot of work because my husband likes it lumpy so don't put it through a strainer but he helps me. We bought about a bushel and a half yesteday. Had a heart attack at the price! But we love our applesauce! Nancy

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  6. Tonight we ate it with chicken apple sausages. But my favorite is on gingerbread pancakes instead of syrup.

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  7. Looks terrific. I have only done a few pints this year -- must get down to that tree and glean, and then get my front yard trees done. I follow almost the same pattern -- just chopping off the good flesh without peeling, cooking and straining with the food mill. No sugar for this batch -- it was all Golden Delicious. You will be enjoying it for a long time!

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  8. Wow that's a lot of apple sauce........Its not a common sauce to preserve in Australia, I can't remember my mother ever making large amounts of it, maybe a small amount fresh to go with roast pork as a special treat.
    Gingerbread pancakes sound pretty amazing !!!

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  9. My last applesauce was not quite sweet enough. It sits there on the shelf and no one wants to eat it :( I can't believe I didn't think about leaving the peels and running them through the strainer afterwards. Next time I'll do it that way (and add more sugar!)

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  10. What is IPM apples? I'm guessing organic, but don't know what that means.. I always get some new info from you blog. I didn't know that cortland doesn't brown :)

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    1. IPM stands for integrated pest management. It is somewhere between conventional and organic. They follow a lot of the organic practices of soil management. They don't use pesticides unless necessary, but they can use them. The IPM strawberries for instance that this farm sells will get sprayed, but only before blossom set, so the berry itself is never sprayed. From what I've read IPM apples used to be the best apples to buy if you were trying to reduce the pesticide residue on your apples. But since Rotenone has been discontinued as an organic pesticide I think the scales might have tipped.

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  11. We love making applesauce from scratch too. I do small batches for us to eat straight from the fridge while they are in season.

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  12. Crickey! That is a ton of applesauce. Looks yummy though. How long would it take you to get thru this much? Or do you give it mostly away? Or does it last you for years?

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    1. This is a yearly supply. It will probably go a bit longer, but hard to say. And yes we eat it ourselves. I like to use my home canned goods up within two years. We certainly will have no trouble at all getting through it in two years. Applesauce in the US is eaten fairly regularly, as a side dish, or a dessert, or a snack.

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  13. Wow--I imagine your house smelled delicious while making the applesauce! Our two little heirloom apple trees haven't begun producing yet (just planted last year), but I have a trip to an orchard planned soon. This is the first year I've canned anything, and applesauce will be my next project! Thanks for the inspiration!

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