APPLESAUCE SEASON

A half bushel of organic apples, waiting to be "sauced."

A half bushel of organic apples, waiting to be “sauced.”

The apple trees in the Chapel orchard gave us plenty of bounty this season.  Saturday was a perfect mild day to pick and preserve them for good winter eating.  I tried a new recipe earlier in the season called by one blogger “the best applesauce ever.”  I have to agree.  It is tastier and brighter than the usual way I put up sauce and I was anxious to get another batch into storage.

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Wash the apples well in warm water.

COLOR KEEPER:  Fill a large bowl or pot with 1 gallon of cold water.  Add 2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons lemon juice OR vinegar.  As apples are peeled and sliced, place slices in the water to keep them from turning brown.

COLOR KEEPER: Fill a large bowl or pot with 1 gallon of cold water. Add 2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons lemon juice OR vinegar. As apples are peeled and sliced, place slices in the water to keep them from turning brown.

I use a utensil that peels, cores and slices the apple.

I use a utensil that peels, cores and slices the apple.

Because our apples are organic–which means we do not spray them–they are not uniform.  After using the peeler, I still must remove any bad spots or bits of peel that remain.

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This is what 1/2 a bushel of apples looks like after all the peeling, coring and slicing.  Add the water, sugars, lemon, salt and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a boil stirring to prevent sticking.  Then reduce heat and cook.  Notice I have two cinnamon sticks because I estimated I had over double the apples the recipe calls for.

The sauce will cook down by half.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

The sauce will cook down by half. Taste and adjust seasonings.

 

See instructions below to prepare jars for canning.

See instructions below to prepare jars for canning.

 

Carefully fill pint or quart jars and attach bands and new lids.  To save time, I begin heating the water in the canner and sterilize the jars in the boiling water right before filling them.

BOILING WATER CANNER.  I was able to can 8 pints at once.

BOILING WATER CANNER. I was able to can 8 pints at once.

Can pints and quarts for 25 minutes when water returns to full boil.

Cooling sauce.

Cooling sauce.

Tighten bands after removing from canner.  Allow to cool and listen for the “ping” which means the lids have sealed.  After cooling, inspect the lids to see if all are indented.  If you are unsure, you may wish to freeze any jars that look like they may not have sealed properly.  Label and date your amazing chunky applesauce!

From the Farm Grove Barn,

Sharon

AMAZING CHUNKY APPLESAUCE

[From The Farmer’s Wife Blog]

This truly is delicious apple sauce.  I could eat an entire pint by myself. 

  • 4 pounds apples, peeled, cored and quartered [I doubled this recipe for the 1/2 bushel of apples I had and added a bit more sugar after tasting.]
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 4 big strips of lemon peel
  • Juice from 1 lemon [or 2 tablespoons lemon juice]
  • 1 cinnamon stick [or ½ tsp. ground cinnamon but I heartily recommend the stick cinnamon—the taste is so much richer]
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a heavy pot, cover, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until apples are soft, 20-30 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.  Remove cinnamon stick and lemon peel.  Mash apples with a potato masher until desired chunkiness is reached.  TASTE AND ADJUST SEASONING IF DESIRED.  Ladle hot applesauce into hot, clean quart or pint jars leaving ½ inch head space or to the neck of the jar.  Get out the air bubbles and wipe the rim of each jar.  Put on new lids and rings and tighten firmly.  Then turn lids one quarter turn back to allow air to escape during canning.  Process in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes for both quarts and pints.  Remove from heat and re-tighten lids.  Allow to cool completely.  Date, label and store jars in a cool place. 

Note:  Applesauce may also be frozen after sauce is placed in clean jars.  Leave at least ½ inch of head space in jars.

 

About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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