Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Applesauce Project

If you have ever spent much time with children, you will soon find that almost all have a deep love with applesauce.

No matter what flavor, or apple variety, they love the stuff.
So of course being the person I am, I try to make some homemade every year for the toddler and soon to be solid eating baby in my life. 

Ryleigh and J are almost 20 pints last year. Granted, she went through a faze where she said she wanted it, but then wasted it, so it's not solid number.

Last year we had the option to pick from a friends orchard for free ( I never turn down free!) and J picked a beautiful assortment of golden delicious, gala, and granny's.   It wa great applesauce. 
This year, the same friend had some pest issues no we got some apples from him but they were so wormy and mealy I just couldn't even tackle them.  Off to Dr Porkchop they went. ( that is Ryleigh's pigs name FYI)

That was a month ago.

Last week I started panicking because I had yet to make my sauce for either kid.  
So off to the Saturday growers market, and low and behold, I may have found my new favorite apple.
An American heritage variety from New York.
And they are delicious. 

40lbs later, and it was sauce making time!

(Notice the snack slices for the mini in the box)

For the longest time I would peel, core, and slice all the apples by hand with a paring knife. 
Not this year!
My MIL gave us a nifty tool to do all that for us! 
( probably not new for most people, but new for us!)

Ry was such a helper! She peeled the first half of every apple. Once she made it half way through it was conveiniently said it was my turn.

After we got all the apples peeled, cored and sliced, it was time to cook!

(We had about two of these large stock pots full)

It doesn't take the apples very long to cook down into the right consistency. 
5-10 min max.
Then we drain them and purée!

I like to use my immersion stick blender, it's way easier than using a food processor or a blender. Plus there is less dishes this way!

Since Luke is getting some too, I scooped some out before we added the spices to it. I puréed his up extra smooth and put it into ice cube trays to freeze for some baby food.

We added some cinnamon to taste and no sugar.
The apples are sweet enough that we didn't need any, and I really didn't want to add any either.
Kids don't need all that extra processed white sugar anyways.

I don't think she likes it..... Just kidding, that bowl was full.
My official taster. She decided how much cinnamon we added to the sauce. 

We like to can our applesauce in pint jars, because who can really eat a quart of applesauce at a time?

My pressure canner can hold 9 pints at a time, and since I had about 9 narrow mouth pints left from this summers canning adventures,  we used those first. 

Once alł the jars are full, you have to come back with a clean, wet rag and wipe all the rims clean.
If you don't, and there is still sauce or sugar on the rim,mother lids won't seal and you will end up being angry. 

Jars breaking and jars not sealing are my nemesis.
They seriously make my blood boil, but that's for another post.

Once the jars are clean, place a warm lid and screw a band on.

Place all the jars into the canner that has been warming up, and close her up!

Once up to pressure, close the valve and bring up to 15lbs and then remove from the heat.

Wait till the pressure has dropped completely and you can open it up and remove your delicious creation!!

Now let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours. 
Remove rings, and wash to remove any excess stickiness.
Store in your pantry.

Now you can have yummy applesauce whenever you want!

So many people think pressure canning is so scary because they have heard horror stories of them exploding.  
I literally have been around a pressure canner my ENTIRE life, and we have never had a problem.
No exploding.
No botulism.
Nothing bad.

Just delicious food that we grew,  prepared and canned ourselves.

Happy canning!!


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