Sunday, October 30, 2005


We like to make this applesauce in the fall. Posted by Picasa

Here's how we do it.

Put a canning pot full of water on the stove and add 5 empty pint canning jars. Put the lids and rings in a seperate smaller pot of water but don't heat it yet.

Peel, core and chop 1 peck of apples.

It works best if the apples are crisp, tart and sour. You have to add more sugar, but the end result is better. Our tree produces rather tart apples of some unknown variety. I think they may be cortlands.

This year, our apple tree didn't produce any apples, and the ones I bought at the farm stand were a little mealy and overripe. So, I added the juice of 2 lemons and a few dashes of cider vinegar. I added only a teaspoon of sugar or so. If the apples were tart I might have added up to 1/2 a cup.

I put 1/2 the apples into a pot and cooked them over a medium heat. If they aren't juicy enough, add a little water.

As they cook down (and this is variable too, sometimes they cook down fast and sometimes it seems to take forever. This time they cooked down pretty fast) mash them with a potato masher. When they are a pulp, add the other half of the chopped apples. Let that cook down too, and mash it as well. There should be some little lumps of apple in the pulp.

Some years I leave the apples almost all in chunks (like apple pie filling) sometimes it's more of a sauce. This year it's more saucey. Again, it depends on the apples. Mealy apples are better this way, crisp apples are better in chunks. I have fears that the chunky apples could leave air bubbles in between the fruit, causing it to spoil, so I add more water when I do it that way, and more sugar too. This year I didn't have to worry about it.

Spices: I put in a mix, which also changes from year to year. It tends to be mostly cinnamon, but I also add nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom, salt, a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper, all kinds of things... BUT, the trick is, not to overdo the spices. I have an empty jar labled "apple pie spice" and I add the mix of spices to the jar, put the lid on and shake. Then I put it into the sauce a pinch at a time, tasting it all the while. I want the spices to just make the apples taste a little more "appley", but not to take over. I think I put in about 1/2 teaspoon all together this time. Maybe even less. Sometimes I get all carried away and put in too much spice but this time I was careful, and I like the result better.

By now your canning pot should be boiling. If not, wait till it is. The water should almost fill the pot, BTW. In the smaller pot, heat the lids and rings but don't boil them.

Spoon hot sauce into the jars (I use a sterilized funnel to make it easier) and wipe the edges of the jars with a clean, damp napkin. Put on the lids and rings. Lower the jars into canning bath, put the lid on the canning pot and set the timer for 20 minutes.

When the bell rings, take the jars out with tongs and set them on a clean dishcloth on the counter overnight. Don't tighten the lids. Don't turnt he jars over. Just let them sit there and admire them. When you wake up the next day, put them in the basement. When it's spring and you're dying for a nice apple but there aren't any left that really taste like apples, take the jar out and open it. You will be happy.


Blogger katiedid said...

Will you look at that - we have the same set of knives. I miss homemade applesauce, but I think I miss more the way my family made it when we all still lived in SD. We'd all gather at my aunt Mary Ann's house, and everyone would bring all their apples, so that all the aunts and grandmas would collecively make sauce together in one big chatty loud group. I still have such vivid memories of that kitchen during that time of year. Sigh. But I don't recall them putting all those spices in. I do remember the aunties would sit and argue over how much plain and how much cinnamon to make up. But I don't think they'd ever be so wild as to add more than one spice to, well, anything at all actually.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

LOL. I wish I could have a bunch of aunties to help me make the sauce, it's a lot of work! :-)

7:30 PM  
Blogger mireille said...

any lemon? Or the spices are enough? xoxo

8:53 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Hi M! Yes, this time I put the juice of 2 lemons for the peck, but I adjust it based on how acidic the apples are. It is an important part! :-) xoxox

8:07 AM  
Blogger Urban Chick said...

oh oh oh oh oh!

i want the sauce!

send me the sauce!

i just feel that it will not taste or look as good as yours if i attempt it with supermarket-bought apples...


1:16 PM  
Blogger Tania said...

Applesauce! I'm too lazy to make applesauce, but I'm perfectly willing to make latkes to eat them on. Come over and bring a jar! ;-)

12:23 PM  
Blogger Tania said...

To eat *it* on. It. Not *them*.

12:23 PM  

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