When life gives you apples, make applesauce!
I recently scored a bushel of apples at the farmer’s market. They are last year’s apples, stored in a climate controlled environment. My fave farmer told me that apples will be few and far between this year, because we had an early spring, then a late frost once the apple trees had already blossomed. So apples will be a luxury item this fall and the price will reflect it, at least in my little corner of the world. I made a pre-emptive strike against pricy apples by grabbing a second bushel after the first successful applesauce project.
This recipe is perfect for baby food because it has only 2 ingredients. Apples and water. None of that nasty high-fructose-corn-syrup slop in THIS applesauce!
Step one is removing the abundant amount of pesticides that are on most apples in North America. You can find directions for removing pesticide right HERE. Once they are clean and chemical free, you’re ready to go!
I have a notoriously short attention span, so I set up an apple chopping station in the living room and watched a movie for the hour it took me to hack up and core the apples. I did not peel them because my carefully cleaned-off peels contain the majority of the fiber and vitamins in apples.
This is what a bushel of apples looks like when that bushel is cored and diced and placed on your counter!
Because of my inherent laziness, I used the “blender method” of making applesauce. This is the “easy” method. Shoot me if I one day have to do the difficult method because this was almost 3 hours of hands-on work. Think about how much work it would be to do this manually and cook down the apples then put them through an applesauce mill! Anyhow, I digress. The blender method: it requires far less cooking time, which helps keep the vitamin content high. You simply puree the apples, skins and all, with just enough water to allow the blender to work. I did this in batches and then poured the puree into the stock pot.
With this method, you only cook it long enough to heat up the applesauce. Once it’s merrily bubbling away, it’s hot enough to ladle into your prepared jars.
I prepare my jars
by washing them in the dishwasher. I time it so that they are still warm from the dishwasher when I am ready to pour the hot product into them.
(Hot applesauce + Cold jar = Broken Glass and Food all over the counter!)
Once the jars were filled, I placed them in my hot water bath canning
pot on top of the rack. Make sure the jars are completely submerged and boil for 20 minutes. (Be sure to adjust for your local altitude
!) I had to do my applesauce in two batches.
My lovely end product – I turned off the radio so I could listen to that satisfying “pop” as the jars sealed!
1 bushel of apples ~ $17
11 jar lids ~ $1
10 and ½ liters of applesauce ~ $18
$1.71 per jar