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Fresh applesauce – one of fall’s perks October 14, 2009

Posted by Judy in parenting.
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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.

My small pile of apples, about 18 pounds

My small pile of apples, about 18 pounds

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.

The three pots where the apples cooked.  That stock pot is a 12 qt pot, and it's HUGE!

The three pots where the apples cooked. That stock pot is a 12 qt pot, and it's HUGE!

The apples cooked down to this amount.

The apples cooked down to this amount.

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.

I did dump the jars in with my dirty dishes.  They all ended up clean in the end.

I did dump the jars in with my dirty dishes. They all ended up clean in the end.

simmering the lids[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.]

I boiled the empty jars and the filled jars in the same water, which was a nice savings.

I boiled the empty jars and the filled jars in the same water, which was a nice savings.

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.

The contraption with a dish all ready to hold the freshly made applesauce.

The contraption with a dish all ready to hold the freshly made applesauce.

apple sauce coming out

I ended up with two large pots of applesauce

I ended up with two large pots of applesauce

All of the junk (cores, seeds and skin)

All of the junk (cores, seeds and skin)

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.

This funnel made the task of filling the jars SOOO much easier!

This funnel made the task of filling the jars SOOO much easier!

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.

boiling filled cans

I had to put towels around the lid because the pot would "spit"

I had to put towels around the lid because the pot would "spit"

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.

I ended up with about 5-6 quarts of sauce.

I ended up with about 5-6 quarts of sauce.

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!

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Comments»

1. Rlape - October 22, 2009

Hmmmm! Homemade applesauce ha! I am sure Nibaw will enjoy it.

Lita

2. Rebecca - January 31, 2010

When I was young, my mom and I would make applesauce and freeze it. If you have the freezer space, it’s a less-involved process…just pop the finished sauce into freezer boxes (leave room for the ice-expansion of the water in the applesauce) and get them into your freezer. Nothing more lovely than a late-winter dinner of peanut butter toast and thawed/rewarmed homemade applesauce!

Judy - February 1, 2010

Ah, yes . . . .peanut butter and applesauce . . . a staple around here . . especially when I’m feeling too lazy to actually cook anything=)


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