Friday, August 13, 2010

An Apple A Day....

We stopped to buy a watermelon from a local gal who sells fruits, veggies, and flowers and left with two 1/2 bushel baskets of apples and a little thing of peaches. What can I say, sometimes it works out that way. This was my first time to make applesauce. I have made pear sauce a couple of years ago, but never apple. If you have never made applesauce before you might want to consider it, the whole process is VERY easy if you have a couple of the necessary tools.

Step ONE: Wash the apples. I just fill my sink to the brim with apples then add water and rinse them.
Step TWO: Grab a nice big pot and fill it a little more than half way with water and bring it to a boil.
Step THREE: Gently put the apples into the pot, put on the lid, and let them boil for about 5-6 minutes. I set my timer for 5 minutes then removed the lid to check on them, most often they needed just a few more seconds to finish up. Also remember the apples in the bottom of your pan will "crack" sooner.
* Depending on the size of your pot the number of apples will vary.....also depending on your stove the "cook time" may vary. 
*The main thing to remember:You are shooting for the apples to cook long enough to crack the skin on the apples. This process makes it so the skin just peels right off.
Step FOUR: Remove the apples from the pot and put them into a bowl for cooling. You could use a ladle, or tongs to do this. I went with the tongs option and they worked well.
Step FIVE: This step has a couple ways you can go about it....I will give you both options and then you can decide how you would like to do it.
#1 Quarter the apples and run them through the stainer as is. (This is what I opted to do most of the time...just faster this way.)
#2 Remove the peel on the apples, then quarter them and run them through the strainer. (The peels really just slide of quickly so it really doesn't add much time to the process.) I did this option the 2nd part of the afternoon when Lance came into the kitchen begging to run the strainer for me.
Step SIX: After running the apples through the strainer you can either put them into freezer containers, this is what I chose to do for this round of apples.
You can also put them into jars and pressure can them. I think I will be choosing this option next time because I am literally out of freezer space. I have filled a chest freezer (mostly meat products), and two top freezers! I do not have a pressure cooker, but my mom does. I am sure you could water bath them also without any issues.
Here is Lance happily working the strainer. This tool or something like it makes all the difference! The apples (or whatever your working with) go into the top, and the sauce comes through the stainer then out the front like you see here. It is hard to see, but on the left part of this strainer the "yuck" (skin, seeds, core, ect.) goes out the end, and then you toss in in the trash.

Out of ONE bushel of apples I was able to make 12 Quarts of apple sauce, which is so naturally sweet that you don't add any sugar to it! No preservatives, no sugar, no high fructose corn syrup (or any other junk the store bought varieties have)!!! My apples cost me $24 so that makes $2 per quart. I think it is worth the time invested to make it and know that it is good for us too. I have come to use applesauce in about all my baking....If a recipe calls for vegetable oil I substitute applesauce instead.
Lance had a good time helping me. I was glad to have him as company in the kitchen. In all, I think it took me about 4 hours from start to finish. I know for our family it was time well invested!
Next up is apple pie filling, and some more applesauce! I can almost taste that yummy pie filling...Mmmm.

Is there anything that you do differently when making apple sauce? I would love to hear from you! I bought Paula Red apples this was the only apples the gal had at the time. What variety of apples do you prefer?


taco6 said...

Hey Danielle, if you have not already pressure canned these and easier way to do them all at once is in the oven. I did mine this way and it was so so so much easier!!!! can also do all of your tomato base canning this way too....

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