Preserving Autumn

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.

5 Responses to “Preserving Autumn”

  1. 1 Krista November 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Uh yeah, that’s going to be a lot of applesauce! But you make it sound so easy…. and how many hours did this take you? 😉
    We used to have this really cool machine when I was a kid… you just chunked the apples and then cooked them, then put them in the machine (stems, peels and all) and it worked kind of like a meat grinder with the sauce coming out a tray on the side and all the stuff you didn’t want coming out the end. My mom employed me and my brother for that part… saved her a lot of work I’m sure and we had fun!

  2. 2 Chris Lawlor November 20, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    I love how you did the cute labels. I bet you can’t wait to enjoy the apple sauce.

  3. 3 alittlemoore November 28, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Go you! Wow, I wish I could wander upon that good of an apple deal! The princess could live on applesauce.

  4. 4 Renee December 3, 2009 at 8:55 am

    So jealous! I make applesauce very fall, but have never canned it. This Christmas, I’m receiving a canner from my mom so I’ll be able to next year. But that reminds me, time to stop by the local orchard and see if there’s good prices on any apples.

  5. 5 Susan December 4, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    You can make apple jelly out of the peels. Take another look on the internet. I’m sure you can find directions for jelly, too. Makes a nice little gift to keep on hand for friends who need a pick-me-up, a hostess gift, or I’m thinking of you surprise.

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