Applesauce

Saturday Dan and I picked up some apples at our local orchard.  I was itching to make a pie again, so we purchased a selection of cooking, dessert, and utility apples.  The utility apples all had some damage from a bad hail storm that hit the area in late August, but were otherwise fine.  We got half a bushel, and I spent a good part of the day on Sunday turning it into applesauce.

Being naturally lazy, I just wash and quarter the apples, remove the blossom scar, throw them into a big pot, adding a little cider, and cook them until they are soft.  The skins impart a nice rosy shade, and probably add a few vitamins too.

I then use my trusty tomato press to sieve the apples, removing the peels, cores and seeds.  Once through the press, the sauce is ready to process or freeze.  I prefer a sauce on the tart side, so I never add sugar before canning — I can always sprinkle a bit of sugar or add some maple syrup or honey when I’m eating it.  This batch, made with unknown varieties, proved plenty sweet anyway.

I like canning it in half-pint jars to take to work for lunch or a snack.  In such small quantities it might make more sense to freeze it, but freezer space at Henbogle is at a premium just now, so I chose to can the whole pot.  A half bushel of apples translated into 38 half-pints of sauce.  At the end, I ran out of small lids so I have a few larger jars.

Homemade applesauce is inexpensive and delicious.  It would make a great learn to can project.  We’ll be enjoying this all winter.  I’m going to include this post as part of Robin’s Thursday Kitchen Cupboard series on her blog, The Gardener of Eden.  Check it out to see what other gardeners are putting up for the winter.

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10 Responses to “Applesauce”

  1. Julie Says:

    On a cold winter’s day…looking at one’s perserved bounty offers such satisfaction. A job well done Ali and Dan.

  2. GrafixMuse Says:

    That counter full of canned apple sauce looks so good. I agree that it makes a great lunch addition. I am already running out of canned apple sauce and need to purchase more local apples.

    • Ali Says:

      Ask around local orchards for the hail damaged ones — very inexpensive, and helps the grower get some value from the damage.

  3. Robin Says:

    That’s a great idea to can applesauce in 8oz. jars. I will be making our applesauce when we get home

  4. Jody Says:

    That looks really great. We have about 2 pecks of apples left to can. Maybe we’ll do applesauce too.

  5. kitsapfg Says:

    Just did 15 quarts of apple sauce a few weeks ago myself. I do make quarts rather than half pints but once opened I just put the jar in the fridge and then scoop out what I need into packable small lunch containers etc. because like you I often use this for part of my work day lunches.

    Pie looks delicious!

    • Ali Says:

      I’ve tried the larger jars in the past, but too often fail to pack some for lunch due to the last minute rush. I’m hoping having it in small jars will make it more likely to join me at work. We’ll see….

  6. Anonymous Says:

    It looks wonderful! How many minutes do you process (I’m assuming in boiling water)? Do you put any lemon juice?

    • Ali Says:

      I added a half teaspoon of lemon juice to each half pint jar, and processed in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes for half pints, and 20 minutes for the bigger jars. I had the leftovers for lunch, it was delicious!

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