Apple and Cinnamon

What seems like ages ago, I started paring down my belongings and packing my three bedroom apartment into boxes.  I wish I could say that all of those boxes were smoothly moved over to Lane’s and unpacked, but all I can say is that the boxes showed up and we sort of have the dining room in order.  It poured rain on moving day and that was just the beginning.  Let’s just say that a memory foam mattress seems like a great idea when someone else is hauling it up to your apartment and a not-so-great idea when you’re one half of the team hauling it out in the rain.  The stuff did all get moved, and I was pretty grateful that we hauled the mattress up to our bedroom when at the end of each busy day this weekend, I got to collapse into bed and keep Lane up with my snoring  sleep like a baby.

I was also extremely glad that I moved a lot of my things in early, because that made for a much easier move.  It also made it easier to make applesauce with M and O, because my apple peeler/ corer/ slicer and canning supplies were at Lane’s when I decided it was time to do something with the apples we picked with M and O.  O is pretty excited about the “peeler machine” and checks on it every time he walks through the kitchen.  I know there are methods where you toss the apples into a pot peel and all, then process them through a sieve or food mill when they’re soft.  That’s a great way to make applesauce, but I don’t possess a food mill (and don’t have room for one), and pushing mushy apples through a sieve is pretty time-consuming.  Instead, I peel and core them ahead of time and I’ve always been happy with the results.  It’s so easy to make applesauce this way and it tastes so good that I never buy it at a grocery store.

I recommend using a combination of apples, for this I used McIntosh and Mutsu, but any sweet apple will work fine.  I don’t recommend anything tart, like a Granny Smith.  Let the sweetness of your apples dictate how much, if any, sugar is added.  I didn’t add any sugar to this (and almost never do) and it’s great.  I also made enough to can a few jars of applesauce for later, but if you’re looking for just enough for a smaller batch, one pound of apples (2-3 large apples) is going to cook down to about one cup of applesauce.  If canning isn’t for you, applesauce also freezes very well.

Applesauce

Ingredients:

  • 16 pounds (McIntosh, Red Delicious, Mutsu, Fuji, or Winesap recommended), use a mixture of types for best results (this is for about 16 cups of sauce)
  • 1/4-1/2 C. water, apple cider, or apple juice
  • cinnamon, to taste (optional)
  • sugar, to taste (optional, almost never needed)

Directions:

Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/2 inch slices.

Pour enough water, apple cider or apple juice into the bottom of a large stock pot to fill it with about 1 inch of liquid. This keeps the apples from scorching.

Add the apples to the pot and place the pot over high heat.

When the liquid on the bottom starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium and stir the mixture.

Add cinnamon to taste (I use 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. cinnamon per pound of apples) and stir to combine.

Place the lid on the pot and simmer the apples for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until they are completely soft.

Use a spoon or potato masher to crush the apples.

If there is a lot of standing liquid on top of the apple mixture, you may want to use a ladle to spoon some of it off or the end result may be too watery.

Check the applesauce for sweetness and add sugar if desired.  If you like applesauce slightly chunky, this is the last step before canning or freezing.

If you want your applesauce smoother, either run the apples through a food mill or food processor.  Store in airtight containers or follow canning procedures to store at room temperature (see below).

Makes 16 Cups of applesauce.

Source: modified from Pick Your Own

 

 

Canning Your Applesauce

Supplies:

  • 4 quart size canning jars with lids and rings (I like Ball brand)
  • jar lifter
  • lid lifter (magnet wand to lift the metal lids out of boiling water)
  • water canner OR a large stock pot and clean dish towel
  • jar funnel (optional, but recommended if not using wide-mouth jars)

Directions:

Clean and sanitize the jars.  This can either be done by running them through a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle or by washing them in hot soapy water and then boiling them for ten minutes.  Keep the jars hot (use “heated dry” setting on dishwasher, or keep them in hot water) until you are ready to use them.

If you’re using a water canner, place the rack into the canner and add enough water to fill the pot and cover the quart jars by at least one inch of water and bring to a boil.  If you’re using a stock pot and dish towel, fold the dish towel so that it fits in the bottom of the pot and then fill the stock pot with enough water to cover the jars by at least one inch and bring the water to a boil.

To sanitize the lids, place them into hot water for five minutes and use the lid lifter wand to pull them out.

Fill the jars with hot applesauce to within 1/4 inch of the top of the jar (or other mark as indicated by the manufacturer).  A jar funnel makes this much easier, especially if you aren’t using wide-mouth canning jars.

Wipe the rim of the jars clean using a clean dish towel.

Seat the lid on the jar and screw the ring onto the jar, gently tightening it.

Using the jar lifter, place the jars gently into the canner and stock pot and make sure that the jars are covered by at least one inch of water.

Bring the water back to a full boil and then boil the jars for 20 minutes.

Using the jar lifter, remove the jars carefully from the boiling water and place them on a clean dish towel, leaving space between the jars and being sure to avoid touching or bumping the jars on anything.

Leave the jars on the dish towel in a draft free place until they have cooled completely.  Resist the urge to press on the lids to see if they’ve sealed.  They may seal as they cool and pressing on the lids before then causes them to not seal. You may hear a popping sound as the lids seal.

When the jars have cooled completely, gently press on the lids to see if they’ve sealed.  If the lid moves up or down at all, it has not sealed.  If you have a jar that has not sealed, you can refrigerate it immediately and the contents are still fine to eat.  Alternately, you can remove the applesauce, heat it until its hot, sterilize the jar and re-process it using a new lid.

To store the canned applesauce, you can remove the lid rings or leave them on.  If you leave them on, loosen them to avoid trapped moisture causing them to rust.

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