Saturday, September 26, 2009

Canning Applesauce

Making applesauce is very easy if you have a Victorio Strainer in your kitchen arsenal. I think the Victorio company went out of business(?) and the new product that replaced it is the Roma, there may be others out there. Here is an example of the kind of food mill that I am referring to, on Lehmans.com

To make approximately one canner full of quart jars you will need about 20 lbs of a good cooking apple. Normally I use the ones on my tree, which I believe are Golden Delicious, but I am not sure since the trees were here when I moved to this house. However, my tree produces fruit about every other year, and this was the off-year. I went to an orchard in our county, Buckingham Orchards and bought 20 lbs of Cortland apples. This variety was recommended to me by the owner as a good cooking apple, and I was not disappointed. The applesauce had a great flavor and a pinkish color to it.

First we need the apples sliced up, I use an apple wedger like this



Don't throw the core away, the whole thing will be run through the strainer. After you wedge them, place them immediately in a large bowl of cold water and Fruit Fresh. Fruit Fresh is ascorbic acid(vitamin C), citric acid and sucrose. This prevents the apples from browning, and the Cortlands will start browning in a few minutes if not treated.

Now we want to soften the apples by cooking them in a pot of with about an inch of boiling water.



Cook them in batches that are just a few inches deep of apples in the pot. It only takes a few minutes to soften them, test them by poking them. Try not to cook them too long or they will fall apart in the cooking water. I found that using my pasta ladle was perfect for scooping the apples from the pot.

Next run the cooked apple wedges through the strainer. The Victorio makes this so easy. Place the apples in the hopper and start cranking. The seeds and skins come out of one chute and the sauce comes out another chute.


Run the scrap that comes out of the scrap chute through the strainer, this will get you quite a surprising amount of sauce. After it has been run through the strainer the second time, I dump the scraps into the compost area near my garden.


Place the sauce that comes out of the strainer into a pot and heat it on low to medium heat, almost to a boil. You have to heat it slowly or it will bubble up and make quite a mess on your stove.



Fill your heated jars with the applesauce and leave 1/4 inch of headspace, then place your boiled lids on, then the band, and place them in your canner.




Make sure there is at least an inch of water above the tops of the jars. Process pints for 15 minutes, quarts for 20 minutes.

I bought 20 lbs of the Cortland apples and the applesauce yield was 14 pints and 2 quart jars. I love using these Cortland apples for sauce, they soften nicely and give the sauce a nice color. These directions are basically the same directions for making pear sauce also. I think I hand cut the pears instead of using the wedger. If you've never had pear sauce you need to try it, it is outstanding!

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