It’s apple season and this weekend was applesauce Sunday. I like cranberry sauce with most of my chicken or turkey dishes and applesauce with pork dishes and now I’m stocked up for the winter. Applesauce also makes a nice addition to a bowl of oatmeal or just as a snack. One of my sister-in-laws thinks my applesauce is the best and she wanted my secret recipe. There is no secret recipe. No secret ingredients. No sugar. No spice. My applesauce is just apples. A variety of apples. The variety is the only secret and there is no hard and fast rule. Just combine some tart, some sweet. Some that cook down more quickly, some that remain firmer.
Peel, core, and slice the apples. A peeler, corer, slicer machine is very handy. A friend with two extra hands to peel, core, and slice and keep you company while they work is great too.
Put the prepared apples into a large, heavy kettle and add about 1 cup of water. Cover and cook over medium heat opening the lid and stirring occasionally. Once the apples cook down a bit, uncover, and use your wooden spoon or a potato masher to get the apples to the consistency you prefer. We like chunky applesauce. Once it’s reached the desired “chunkiness” turn the heat to low,
Sterilize your jars and lids in a hot water bath. Put the hot applesauce into the hot jars leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean cloth to make sure there is nothing to interfer with the seal. Put the lid and ring on the jar.
Process the jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove the jars and place on a heavy towel and allow them to cool completely.
Store the jars in a cool place. Remove the rings from the jars before storing them. Making applesauce is a little time consuming but simple process. This winter you’ll be happy you did it.
NOTE: One bushel of apples made 35 pints of sauce with a little extra left for dinner that night. Last year I added 20-25 red hot candies to a couple of my batches of sauce. It gave the sauce a nice pink tint and added a little cinnamon flavor.
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