Thursday, November 24, 2016

Apple Sauce

Aside from the usual fall shenanigans (NO Chocula, she's not to get bred until NEXT month and NOT BY YOU), I got a screaming deal on seconds apples by the bushel.  My husband talked me down so I only bought two bushels of apples (about 100 lbs), which was probably smart.  I do nothing half way, which is the nice way of saying I'm really good at over committing.

I also discovered that this year narrow mouth quart jars are two dollars less than wide mouth jars.  Two whole dollars!  My family is going to have to cope with narrow mouth jars.

But all that is to say that I've been making lots of apple sauce.  The nice thing about apples is they have enough acid and enough sugar on their own to be pretty canning safe, so you don't have to worry too much about following a recipe.  As such, my apple sauce recipe is actually more of a method.  If you wanted to try this with other similar fruits (like pears), it would probably work, and you should tell me how it turned out.

How to Can Apple Sauce

First, acquire a large number of apples.  They cook down so don't mess around with this part.  The best kinds are fairly firm (Red Delicious sucks) and moderately tart, in my opinion.  This year we're using Rome apples.

Core the apples and cut out any weird bits.  I leave the skins on, partially because I am lazy, and partially because the internet told me that that's where all the nutrition is.  But the seeds need to come out, as do the blossom ends, stems, and any icky bits.  You can use an apple cutter/corer if you want.

Put all the apples in a big ol' pot with a couple of inches of water in the bottom.  You can add some cinnamon sticks at this point if you're into that sort of thing.  Put the whole mess on low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until everything is mushy.

Run the apples (skins and all!) and apple liquid through your food processor or powerful blender in batches until it's all the consistency you expect from apple sauce.  Or if you're a bum who doesn't like skins in their applesauce you can use a food mill.  Put it back in the big pot and have a taste.  Is it sweet enough?  Not enough cinnamon?  Season to taste with sugar, molasses (yum!), cinnamon, or what have you.  I usually add cinnamon and a small amount of black strap molasses.  Keep it simmering!  If your sauce is too watery you can also let it cook down some more.

Ladle your finished applesauce into sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath canner for twenty minutes.  Remove canner from heat and allow jars to stand in hot water for ten minutes more.

Tah-dah!  Apple sauce!  And you didn't even have to measure anything.

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