Homemade Applesauce


When we purchased our house I decided to mix edible plants/plants that produce food in with regular decorative plants. One of the trees we bought was a hybrid dwarf apple tree, as well as a similar pear and cherry tree. The great thing about these trees is that they are small and they have multiple varieties of apples all grafted onto one tree so in a small space you only need one tree and it can pollinate itself!
My tree has 5 varieties-Golden Delicious, Fuji, Red Delicious, Sraeburn and Gravenstein. Each branch is suppost to  produce one of these varieties. My tree is only 3 years old and has only started producing golden delicious and gravenstein so far. But I got about 15 pounds of medium sized apples from it and decided to make applesauce that I can use in baking (instead of oil) and give to my daughter for a healthy alternative to store bought.
Step1: Wash all the apples throughly. You can then either peel and core them with a peeler/knife of this handy tool which peels cores and slices. I just cut them into forths, removed the core and cooked them. At this time also sterilize your jars. I used pint jars because I can never get through large amounts of applesauce before it spoils and with homemade I am extra precautious on the amount of time I keep it open since it has no preservatives in it.I ran the jars through the dishwashing cycle on the sterilize, heat dry cycle and keep them warm until you need them.Start boiling a large canner of water-it takes forever!!
Step2: Boil apples in purified water until fork tender. Also start boiling all of the lids too!!!
Step 3: You can either use a ricer or a blender/food processor to make your applesauce. I used the blender and most of the appleskins were just pulverized into the sauce (extra fiber), if you plan on boiling and then removing the skins when they fall apart you will lose a lot of the apple on the skins. When you blend the apples use some of the boiling water they were boiled in to thin the sauce to the desired consistency. Return to a pot to keep warm. 
Step 4: add ~1Tbsp of lemon juice per 2 quarts of applesauce to maintain color (if desired). I also added sugar and cinnamon for flavoring. I only used ~1 1/2  cups of sugar in 19 pint jars and about 5 Tbsp of cinnamon. I don't like mine very sweet especially when used for baking as you can add more sugar if needed.
Step5: Fill all of the sterilized jars making sure to keep the lip clean. I used a canning funnel that works perfectly. Make sure there is no product on the edges.
Step 6: Place boiled lid on jar and screw down with top.
 
Step 7: Boil all products for 20 minutes (start timer when water gets back up to boil)All of the lids should be covered in water for the 20 minutes. Remove and cool. The center of the lids should suck down and you can usually hear them "pop". When the center of the lid doesn't move it is sealed usually good for 3-6 months. Any jars that don't seal keep in the fridgerator and use immediately
Step8: Label your jars and place cute little pieces of fabric and ribbon on them if you are giving them away as gifts. I used pinking shears so I wouldn't have to sew the edges.

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