Ok, so I've finally finished harvesting, cooking and processing all of my apples. In total, I believe I processed about 6 bushels of apples this season, that's almost 300 pounds! Wow, now that I look back, I can't believe how much I've done with them...
Let's see, Apple Pie Jam, Apple-Pearsuace, Apple Butter, Apple Rings, Orange-Apple Cranberry Sauce, Apple Muffins, Apple Pectin (more about that in another post) and of course Apple Pie and Applesauce! Plus all the ones Maiyo & I ate whole or in our oatmeal! What a bounty to be had from our trees, I'm sure thankful to Ana's parents for planting 8 apple trees on our property and glad we are finally putting all that awesomeness to good use. Before I meet Ana, he never harvested the trees and the beautiful fruit all went to the local deer, such a waste. And then I came onto the property and was so overwhelmed that it took me a good three years before I started harvesting the trees properly (I mean other than picking a few apples to snack on). I actually think my harvesting the trees last season helped them produce such a great bounty this season, so I'm hoping next season is even better!
This year also marks the first year that I actually started baking with applesauce (as a substitute for oil) and I'm loving it! So of course I had to make a ton of it to hopefully last me the rest of the year since now I'm using it up in breads and as a go to snack for Maiyo.
Growing up I hated applesauce, of course I had only ever tried store bought, yuck, and it wasn't until I moved into this house that I made an attempt to try it again. After trying a few different recipes, I found that I'm very particular about how my applesauce is made. I don't like cooking the cores with the apples as I feel it leaves a bitter taste, but I do leave the peels on, I feel that you must use a majority of sweet apples, I like to only add a little water so the apples don't get scorched on the bottom of the pan and I cook the sauce down to make it thicker. Sounds complicated, and it kinda is, but trust me, it's worth the effort!
So here's my applesauce recipe, the end result is a beautiful pure, perfect color, not overly sweet, thick applesauce.
Makes ~8 pints
10 lbs Sweet Organic Apples (Washed, Cored and Sliced*)
-I use a mix of Pipin, Red Delicious, Cameo, Pink Lady & Golden Delicious
2 C Water (I use filtered water)
-Wash, core & slice the apples then place in a stock pot.
-Add Water and cook on medium heat, occasionally stirring, until all apples are so tender they mush right up when you spoon them.
-Run apples through a food mill to discard all tough parts (peels, stems, seeds, etc.) *If you do not have a food mill, then peel the apples before you slice them & cook them, once they start to mush up, mash them with a masher.
-Ladel into prepared jars and process for 15 mins or into airtight containers in the refrigerator.
-Processed applesauce will last for 2 years, unprocessed jars will last in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.