This week has been a busy canning week! Everything is ripe. But, because we finally ate up the last jar of applesauce from 2009 in August, (I made an overabundance, being able to pick up burlap bags full of seconds from Allison’s Orchard in Walpole NH that year.) I’ve decided to do apples. Lots of apples.
Before the apples, however, there were a couple of other adventures in food. We had grapes this year! Really the first nice harvest, which was brought about by a wine tasting at a winery last February, where the sommelier told me how to trim grape vines. So, what do you do with an abundance of sour grapes? Why, make wine of course! So I did. Here it is bubbling happily away.
Then, a friend brought us a 5 gallon pail of pears. So those got canned up into 9 quarts of pears in light syrup. See the happy pears? 🙂
Then there were the apples. One of our trees dropped most of it’s fruit early and I missed it. The other, however, had most of it’s fruit still on it, so yesterday, my little chickadee and I picked it.
Then, youngest son and I foraged a bunch of these beautiful apples. Aren’t they pretty? They are pink inside!
Because they were small, applesauce it was. So here’s how to do it:
Fish the apples out with a slotted spoon, and put them thru your food mill. Use the larger screen, because the seeds jam up the smaller screen. My helpers fight to be the kid to crank and squish! Though when I helped, I cut up my fingers on the metal edge of the hopper (folding tables are not the best choice for attaching the food mill, but it’s what we’ve got) and am now mis-typing every other word due to the bandages. What’s canning without a little blood or a burn? 😉
I had a 12 quart pot full of apple sauce. Sugar to taste. I used 5 cups of sugar for this batch. The sugar also helps the applesauce to become more liquid – I like a fairly juiceless sauce, so I don’t add much, just enough to make it less than tar.
Then, spice to taste. I used 6 tbsp of cinnamon, 4 tbsp of nutmeg, and 2 tbsp of cloves for this batch. I wing the spices, because different apples require more or less spicing. Keep tasting your applesauce.
Bring it to a boil and ladle into sterilized jars. Water bath can or 60 minutes. Yummy goodness to be eaten with cheddar cheese or heavy cream.