Yesterday’s adventure in the kitchen was canning applesauce.
On Monday I picked up a big box of apples from one of our local orchards. They were having a sale, so the box of red delicious apples (over 25 pounds!) was only $5. Being a bargain shopper, I fell for it, thinking I’d can it into applesauce. Never mind the fact that I’ve never canned anything before. With the wonder of the internet, you can go from novice to expert in just a few clicks. After reading up for a bit, and begging the loan of a canner from my friend Melissa, I got out some pots and pans and set to work.
First, I peeled and chopped the apples and put them in my biggest pot. After a dozen apples, I could hardly see a dent in the box, and the pot was getting pretty full. I added a few more apples for good measure, then put in about a cup and a half of water and turned on the heat. Meanwhile, I filled the canner with hot water from the tap and put it on the stove, and stuck my jars into the dishwasher to sanitize and stay hot while I was cooking. The lids went into a little pan of water on the third of my four burners where they heated up at a low simmer. As the applesauce cooked, I added a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon. When the apples were soft, I used my immersion blender to blend the applesauce to a smooth consistency. At this point, I found I needed to add a bit more water to make it look just right. Time for a check: Hot water in the canner? Hot jars in the dishwasher? Hot lids on the stove? Hot applesauce in the pot? Yep! Ready to go. Now I filled the hot jars with hot applesauce, placed a hot lid on each and secured it with a (not hot) ring. Then I placed the jars into the hot water canner, crossed my fingers and waited. After sitting for 20 minutes in boiling water, the jars were ready to be removed to a towel on the counter to cool. About two minutes after I took the jars out of the canner, I started hearing the ping of the lids sealing, and felt the pride of accomplishment.
Oh, you want to know how it tastes? Nu-uh! I canned those babies to last through the winter, so there’s no way I’m cracking the seal today. But I do have about 15 pounds of apples left, so it’s pretty likely I’ll make another batch today.