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I know it may seem like I’ve been canning a lot recently—probably because I have.  I only do this a few times a year for items that I love, but only love when they’re in season (e.g. tomatoes, salsa, tomato sauce).  Applesauce is the only true fall canning that I do.  I’ve become such a snob about it, I can’t really even eat supermarket varieties anymore (save Trader Joe’s Chunky). We all have our own ideas of what applesauce should be like.  I want mine to be chunky and spiced.  If you don’t, that’s fine, feel free to omit everything but the apples and water if you’d like.  I’ve added brandy before and that’s wonderful too.  The below recipe is my personal favorite and will make your whole house smell heavenly.

Mixed Apples (enough to fill an 8qt. stock pot)
2 T Cinnamon
1 t. Ginger
2 t. Nutmeg
2 t. Allspice
1 Orange, cut into quarters
1/2 C. Brown Sugar (optional)
1 1/2 C. Water

Peel and cut apples into chunks, place in a stockpot with remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil over med-high heat.  Once boiling, turn stove temp to low/simmer and cover with a lid.  Allow apples to cook down until tender (about 30-45 min).  Meanwhile, sanitize glass jars in dishwasher or over the stove.  Remove orange pieces and mash with a potato masher until it is the desired consistency.  Turn the stove back to med-high heat and bring to a boil again, leaving uncovered to allow the rest of the moisture to cook off.   Once enough moisture has cooked off, begin to can.  In a separate pot, boil jar lids for a few minutes.  With a funnel in place, ladle enough to come up about and inch short of the top of the jars, place lid seal on and screw ring on tightly, working quickly as you go.  Wipe any drips up and allow to cool, with out moving the jars for at least 24 hrs.  Bit by bit, you should hear the jars start to seal with a nice “pop.”  I personally love the pop.  It’s my favorite part of canning.  It’s as if the jars are each saying, “look at me, I’m done!”  If your cans came with canning instructions, please follow those instead, as I’m sure they make more sense.  If you have any questions about if one of your cans has sealed, don’t chance it.  Throw it in your fridge and eat it as soon as you can.  It will still be good, just not necessarily shelf-stable.

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