Fresh applesauce – one of fall’s perks October 14, 2009Posted by Judy in parenting.
We live about 8 minutes from a large farm that has provided us with many hours of entertainment . .. . picking apples, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, peaches. DS LOVES going to the farm and especially loves to pick apples. So I decided to try my hand at making fresh applesauce. We picked 25 pounds of apples and headed home to make and can the applesauce. I found a nice website with directions on how to make and can the applesauce. I decided not to use ALL of the apples, just in case it didn’t turn out well, ya know.
Here’s what we did, step by step.
Washing the apples
I washed the apples in cold water and a wee bit o’ soap. I then cut them into quarters, making sure to remove the stems.
Prepping and cooking the apples
I then cut them into quarters, making sure to remove the stems. I cooked them in two different ways. Most of the apples were steamed as that is the best way to cook them without losing nutrients. The rest of the apples were boiled.
Prepping the canning supplies
The canning jars were washed in the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle, while the rings and lids were just washed with soap and water and then placed in a pot with simmering water.
[Ideally, I should have timed it so that the applesauce was ready just about the time the jars were ready. Being my first time, it didn’t work out that way. Instead, I had to boil the jars in hot water for 10 minutes to make sure they were sanitized, and then I placed them in hot water in the sink.]
Making the applesauce
We have this cool contraption for making the applesauce. It’s been in DH’s family for a long time and it was passed on to us. You put the apples in the funnel in the top, push it down with the plunger thing and turn the crank. The apples get mushed through the sieve while the core, seeds and skin get spit out the back. Kinda messy, but pretty cool.
Final applesauce preparation
The last step before canning was to season the applesauce. I added cinnamon and apparently got carried away, because it didn’t taste quite right. So I added about 3/4 cup of sugar and then it was all good.
Canning the applesauce
Having canned tomatoes before, and making a MESS when putting them into the jars, I decided to buy a few little canning tools (a wide-mouted funnel, a measuring tool, a magnet to get the lids and a jar lifter) to make my task easier. I placed the applesauce in the jar leaving 1/4″ headspace, tried to get rid of the air, placed a lid and ring on the jar and set it aside.
Sealing the jars
Once I had seven jars ready (seven is the max number of jars I could fit in my stock pot), I placed them into the boiling water in the stock pot. I forgot to think about the fact that the filled jars would increase the volume, so I ended up with WAYYY too much water in the pot. Said water got removed post haste. Anyway, once the jars were in the water, I boiled them for 20 minutes, making sure that there was always at least 1 inch of water above the tops of the jars.
Cooling the jars
After 20 minutes of boiling, I used the jar lifter to remove the jars, setting them on a thick towel on the countertop. I made sure to leave lots of space inbetween jars. Then, I just let them cool overnight and voila . . . . canned, homemade applesauce.
Throughout this whole process, I had a good helper in DS. In fact, he didn’t want to go to bed until we were done, at 9:45 pm!! This is a VERY toddler friendly activity!