Sunday, September 22, 2013

Applesauce

Simple, straight forward comfort food in my opinion! As long as we have a great apple crop, I have always canned a batch of applesauce to add convenience to my life. Unfortunately last year that didn't happen, the weather didn't fare well with apples.  Living in western NY, we are a major apple producer for the eastern states.  That said, most farms in the area used to have their own orchards.  Sadly as time has progressed, most have been cut down to build developments, or abandoned to time.  At our new house, we have a few fruit trees remaining from what was once a large number.  Just off our property is a long line of abandoned Golden Delicious apple trees.  The ones at the front are free of vines, but as you walk down the line, you see how the brush/woods have encroached the orchard leaving the trees to be mauled by the wild grape vines.  It is sad, what was once a productive area is now left to nature. 
Any ideas?
Our own established apple tree is a mystery variety.  It is a crisp red tart apple.  We are guessing maybe a Cortland? So far it has held well, I picked a bushel and they are in the fruit cellar, and have not become soft like Macintosh typically do. 


My recipe for applesauce to can is simple and mostly likely like everyone elses.  I do a smooth sauce to can, if I am in the mood for a chunky sauce I do a fresh batch. I used apples that were picked up from the ground under my tree for this sauce.  Obviously we left the rotten ones, but there were still plenty that were in fine condition, but wouldn't keep due to being bruised when they dropped.  Knowing the condition, the sauce was made the same day they were picked up due to their limited shelf life.
Fallen ground apples used for sauce


Sauce to Can

For every 4 cups of apples you will need about 1/2 cup of water in the pot. Here is my recipe using a market basket of apples.


-market basket apples, cored and chopped and bad spots removed.
- 1-2 cups water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pot to avoid scortching.
- 1 6" cinnamon stick
                                                                                       - lemon peel
                                                                                       (use a vegetable peeler to remove  a 3" piece)

Place all items in a large pot over medium low heat, cook until the apples are broken down.  Be sure to stir frequently to avoid burning.  When everything is broken down, fish out the cinnamon stick and lemon peel and dispose of them. 

Squeezo, it was once my Moms
Send the apples through a Foley Food Mill or Squeezo.  Return the sauce to the stove once it is all pureed and bring to a boil over low heat stirring very often.  I do not add sugar typically to my sauce because I prefer the natural taste, but if you are going to add any, this is the time to do it. 

Sauce on the shelf in my fruit cellar.
Fill, clean hot jars, seal and process in a water bath for 25 minutes. 





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