I mentioned in my previous post that Dear Hubby "surprised" me with two boxes of apples from a friend's orchard. The troops have been doing there best to eat them, but with the way above average temperatures here the apples had started to get a little soft. Not wanting to waste them I decided to throw together a batch of applesauce. Of course, I grossly under estimated the project! I started off by quartering the apples:
Tossing them into my trusty kettle. This pot is one of my most prized possessions. It belonged to my Great Grandmother, who used it for the exact same purposes, as I do. Then it was passed on to my Mother who would make giant batches of chili in it to put in the freezer, for later. I became the proud owner of it several years ago, and I have put it to a myriad of uses.
While the apple were "cooking down" (This takes about thirty minutes. Don't forget to stir them occasionally so they don't scorch!). I put together the Victorio Strainer. I picked this wonderous culinary gadget up at the local thrift store for $6.00. A HUGE bargain! Purchased new this would cost much, much more! This handy gizmo is one of my favorite canning items. It eliminates the need to peel, core, and seed fruits and veggies. It does the work for you. Notice the trusty Pyrex pans waiting to catch the yummy goodness!
Once the apples are soft load the hopper and start processing them.
Of course, it is always nice if you get a little help! Surprisingly, Child #3 and #4 love to help do this part of the process. They fight over who gets to "plunge" the apples and who gets to turn the crank!
Just like magic! Applesauce come out the side and the apple "poop" (Yes, another "Barrettism" created by my delightful children. Nice potty language, huh?) shoots out the center. The apple "poop" gets tossed into the garden to break down over the winter.
The applesauce goes back into the kettle, and it is time to add sugar. I usually taste test the amount of sugar I stir in. Sweeter apples need less sugar than tart ones. These were fairly sweet, so I only added 3 cups of sugar to the whole kettle. You can add cinnamon and nutmeg at this point, too, if you like spicy applesauce.
Once the applesauce comes to a slow boil and the sugar is dissolved pour the applesauce into hot sterilized jars (dishwashers are fabulous for doing this!).
Top the jars with new lids that have been simmering in hot water for 5 minutes, and tighten down the lid down with a ring. Place them in a on the plate of the steam canner.
Cover with the dome lid and bring to a boil (a steady flow of steam will start shooting out of the steam holes in the lid), process for 20 minutes (if you live at sea level). I process mine for 30 minutes because I live at 4,600 ft. above sea level. If you don't know what adjustment to make for your altitude you check out this link. You can also use a water bath canner if you don't have a steam canner. Just follow the instructions for water bathing in The Ball Blue Book. I fact, the instructions for making applesauce can be found in The Ball Blue Book.
When you are done processing the jars set them on a hard surface to cool. Don't they look just lovely?
Woo, Hoo! Apples are all done! Another check mark on the canning list! Is that list getting shorter? Maybe,..... but wait ....... what do I see simmer on the stove? More salsa, anyone?
Really, I can stop anytime I want to............................