Sunday, 2 November 2014

Apple Season!

I love fresh apples, the smell of them, the taste of them, the look of them! We probably got about 10 off our tree this year (planted 2 years ago), the squirrels got a few as well. Ah well, wildlife needs to eat too! So, enough to eat but not enough to can.

Made a trip out last weekend to Martins Apple Farm and in my excitement, bought 3 half bushels of #2 Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp apples.

I intended to make applesauce and have some for eating as well. Guess I kind of overestimated a wee bit of how many apples I needed! So now aside from applesauce, I have other recipes I need to do.

I also went out and bought this thingamabob:

I thought it would just peel the apples, but to my delight I discovered it also cores and slices the apple too! If you intend to cook a lot of apples I highly recommend this, totally worth the $20.

I like unsweetened, slightly chunky applesauce. Doing some research, I found that a few places recommend using more than one kind of apple to get the best flavour. I was going to use 3 kinds of apple, but the 3rd kind I wanted wasn't quite ready in season yet; so I used 2 kinds: Fuji and Gala. I tinkered with a few different recipes and came up with this.

Unsweetened Applesauce

12 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and chopped up
2 cups unsweetened apple cider
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Prepare your canner, jars and lids.

In a big stainless steel pot, combine apples with apple cider. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, blend apples until your desired consistency is reached. Return applesauce to a boil, add lemon juice and spices, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Ladle hot applesauce into hot jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if necessary by adding more sauce. Wipe rims, center lid on jar and screw down until fingertip tight. Place your jars in your canner, making sure they are covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and remove canner lid, let sit for 5 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool slowly at room temperature.

Makes about 8 500 mL (pint) jars or 4 1 L (quart) jars.

(I got 7 500 mL jars, one 1 L jar and a bit extra for eating right away).

The result? Super yummy applesauce!

I could eat this all by itself, but it's also yum on pancakes or waffles, or as a side dish with whatever meal you're having. Plus your whole house smells deliciously like warm apples and cinnamon (and no fake smell candle can replicate that).

I did this the other day; now I have at least 2 other apple canning recipes I need to do. Will keep you posted!

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