Since today was a bust for finding mushrooms I went by the family farm and snagged a bucket of apples from a tree that no one knows the name of the apple variety that’s on it. All I know is that it was my Grandmothers favorite apple. Such a good tasting apple, but I probably should have stopped eating them at three apples. Since the bull in the local herd of elk decided to shake all the lower apples off the tree with his horns (wish i could have watched him do that) this involved lots of jumping and grabbing branches and yanking on them to get them to fall off. Luckily no one took a picture of me looking like a pogo stick to do this. Since i have made enough hard apple cider and dried apple chips for the next year it is time to make some apple sauce.
There is the hard way of making apple sauce that involves peeling and slicing the apples by hand or there is the quick easy way to do it of by buying a peeler slicer that you attach to a counter. And yes the counter really is a funky goldenrod color.I love the one from pampered chief. Suctions to the counter instead of clamping to the edge. Also it is very handy for making slices to dry for apple chips. After you slice and dice up all your apples put them into a pot and cover on low heat. Stir every five minutes or so to rotate the uncooked ones to the bottom.
After an hour the apples should be nice and soft and you can take an old fashioned potato masher and mash them into a nice chunky sauce. Yes I know I’m strange and like chunky apple sauce with little bits of missed peel in it. if you would like creamier sauce continue to cook it until it is how you would like it. For variety if you cook it down until you have lost about 25% of the water out of it you will be almost to the point of having apple butter. I am not a fan of super sweet apple butter so i will stop at the chunky stage and can my sauce to enjoy later on in the year (so not eating 2 gallons of sauce at once)
If you have never canned before please go out and get a good canning book before continuing. The type of canning and length of time that you need are very important to keep you from getting sick for improperly preserved food. The Ball blue book is available in most stores and is fairly cheep. Or if you prefer most of the recipes are on their website. http://www.freshpreserving.com/home.aspx
Ball apple sauce canning recipe:
Directions:1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) COMBINE apples with just enough water to prevent sticking in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 20 minutes, until apples are tender (time will depend upon the variety of apple and their maturity). Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3.) TRANSFER apples, working in batches, to a food mill or a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée until smooth.
4.) RETURN apple purée to saucepan. Add sugar, if using, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Maintain a gentle boil over low heat while filling jars.
5.) LADLE hot applesauce into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
6.) PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.