Actually, an orchard gave me apples. Well, actually Paul gave an orchard some money in exchange for apples. When life just starts handing me apples, well, that will be a standout day.
Last year we made enough applesauce to last us almost a year, even with giving some to family members. This year, family demand is up and New York State apple production was down. So we’re going to have to do this in batches.
Batch one: about 15 pounds of apples
Yield: About 4 quarts of unsweetened, chunky, cinnamon applesauce
Canning is one of my favorite things to do. It’s fun, I’m good at it, and I like having cupboards full of foods that I’ve canned myself. And applesauce is one of our favorites; we’ll eat it plain by the spoonful, warmed with rice whip on top, and swirled into oatmeal (my favorite).
This is the recipe I follow, and is by no means a tutorial on canning. If you want to learn how to can, I suggest picking up a Ball canning book and reading some Cornell Cooperative Extension materials. Worked for me!
Chunky Unsweetened Applesauce
makes 4 quarts
- 12 – 15 lbs. apples
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 4 – 6 tsp. cinnamon
1) Prepare your canning jars according to your canning book/other materials.
2) Peel, core, and quarter your apples. I make this easier by using a hand crank apple peeler, and a handheld apple corer. You could probably get one piece of machinery to do both operations at once, but I like my method.
3) Once all of your apples are prepared, place them in a large saucepan and add enough water to just cover the bottom of the pot. Cook over medium-high heat, bringing to a boil. Once boiling, continue cooking until the apples have softened. Some apples will soften faster than others. It probably wont take more than 30 minutes. Stir while the apples are cooking, don’t let them scorch or stick!
4) Blend half of the apple mixture so that it’s velvety smooth. Mash the other half of the apples so that they’re chunky. Mix the blended apples back with the mashed ones.
5) Add the lemon juice and cinnamon, and return to a boil. Let cook for five or so minutes.
6) Ladle the applesauce into prepared canning jars, and process according to what your canning book says (for the quart jars, I did ten minutes at full boil, then let them sit in an uncovered pot with the heat turned off for five minutes before removing from the canner).
7) Keep covered and away from drafts for 24 hours, then check to make sure the seals have set. If they haven’t transfer to the fridge and eat soon! This won’t be hard, but I’ve never had a jar not seal.
I ate a bowlful when I came in from my afternoon run today. This was a momentous run. It was my first one back since I had my arm surgery (I was out for six weeks!), and my run today took me over the 200 mile mark since recovering from my last surgery! I was pretty amazed that I put in nearly 200 miles between June and September (half marathon training is an amazing thing).
This run was much easier than after my last surgery. My arms didn’t even hurt afterwards, which was nice! They feel a little puffy and swollen, but it’s not bad. My lungs though, they will need adjusting to breathing hard in this crisp fall air!