Friday, September 14, 2012

Apples Apples Everywhere - Canning Chunky Homemade Applesauce

If you are lucky enough to have apples coming out your ears (or fortunate enough to know someone who does) then this is a must try recipe for canning homemade chunky applesauce. We made the sugar-free kind and it was delicious! Either way you make it, it is WAY too easy with a {kitchen tool company} peeler/corer/slicer as shown here. It will literally cut your time in HALF. If you don't have one yet, email me (or if you need to process them now, grab a paring knife or peeler and get to peeling!)

You can also make this and eat it fresh and/or freeze the rest. Applesauce freezes well and keeps indefinitely in a good deep freezer. The trouble (for us anyway) is having enough freezer space!

For canning, you need:

Jars & seals with lids
Funnel (I like the Ball brand collapsible funnel but it's really up to you)
Jar lifter
Large stock pot
Fruit Fresh or 3/4 c. lemon juice
Apples (kind doesn't matter but we mixed reds & greens)
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 c. Splenda

Wash your apples and prepare a large bowl with water and Fruit Fresh in it (to keep the peeled apples from browning). You can also use 3/4 c. lemon juice per 1 gallon water. Insert the stem end of your apple on to the {kitchen tool company} Peeler/Corer/Slicer (shown here with stand). You can adjust the peeler part to the thickness of skin of what you are peeling. Apples are pretty thin-skinned so adjust that as necessary.

Turn the handle and the peeler will begin removing the peel in strips. As you keep turning the handle, the apple will go through the corer as it is being sliced. It is amazingly easy to crank so remember that those parts are very sharp and keep your hands away from them. :)

Here is a nearly finished apple. Once the apple stem is completely through the corer, pull your peeled, sliced & cored apple off the apple core and put it in your Fruit Fresh (or lemon juice) water. Release the rod and slide it back to the beginning. Your apple core will likely shoot across the table at that point and hit the person next to you. Fun for the whole family!

Here's a finished apple - perfectly sliced, peeled & cored (in about 20 seconds)! You can also make perfect spiced apple rings with a few additional ingredients. SO easy.

Back to the applesauce, once you have a bowl full of peeled, sliced & cored apples, you will want to trim off any remaining bad spots, peeling at the top & bottom and any brown spots.

You'll then slice the apple in half and throw it in your large stock pot with about 2 pints of water. If you are making less or don't have this big of a stock pot, adjust the water accordingly. The apple slices are pretty thin so they cook down fairly quickly but you'll still be simmering for at least an hour, stirring so the bottom apples don't scorch.

Here's what it looks like on the stove after it has been cooking a while. We started out on medium and then went to low when it started simmering. A full batch of applesauce is a large stockpot about 3/4 full of sliced apples. They will cook down to where the stockpot will be a little less than 1/2 full. You can add 1 cup Splenda (or sugar) to the apples while they are cooking but don't add the cinnamon until right before you're ready to jar it. Also, you don't have to add sugar at all if your apples are sweet so omit it if you'd like!

This is what it will start looking like after simmering for at least an hour. It still needs another 20-30 minutes or until it starts "looking" like applesauce. You can use a potato masher or a {kitchen tool company} Mix & Chop to speed this along but the apples won't break apart until they soften & that takes time.

Finally ready to jar! Add 1 T. of cinnamon in the last 5 minutes of cooking and stir well.

Heat your sanitized jars in warm water or pull them out of a freshly run dishwasher. Boil a small amount of water in a saucepan and put your lids & seals in there after you shut off the heat. The water should be very hot but doesn't need to continue to boil.

Use a funnel & ladle your applesauce into the jars, leave at least 1/2" of head space at the top of the jar. Wipe off the rim with a clean washcloth and place your heated seal on top and attach the lid to secure it all down.

Process in hot-water bath in the canner for approximately 20 minutes. Use your jar lifter to remove the finished jars and place them away from open windows or fans and let them cool. You should hear a POP noise for each jar but it one doesn't seal, you can just eat it now. :)

This recipe makes approximately 6 quarts - if you have any leftover after filling your jars you can keep the extra in the freezer (applesauce freezes well) or just put it in the fridge and enjoy! If you have leftover uncooked apple slices, you can add your favorite seasonings and freeze for pies, cobblers & crisps.

You can also make the smooth kind of applesauce by using a food mill but since we don't like that kind, we didn't make it in this batch. A food processor would also work if you aren't doing very much otherwise it would be very tedious work doing a quart at a time.

Email me for more information on all the products used or if you have any questions about why the "{kitchen tool company}" references instead of the actual name: rachael.9667 AT gmail DOT com


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