Saturday, December 14, 2013

Apple Harvest

This fall I decided to make applesauce.
I happened upon a recipe that gave instructions
on how to make apple jelly and applesauce all from 
cooking the same apples.  
You'll need about a heaping gallon of peeled and cored apples
(if you have a food mill you don't need to peel and core them just cut them in chunks
and put them through the mill instead of processing them)
Put chopped apples in a large saucepan and add 1 cup of water per heaping quart of apples.
Bring to a boil then cover and simmer until apples are tender
stir occasionally and smash the apples up a little to release more juice.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the apples into another bowl.
You need to leave the juice in the pot.
You may have to pour any juice from the bowl of apples back into the pot.
Next you need to strain the juice.
I used a piece of cheesecloth stretched over a pitcher 
and secured with a rubber band (see above photo)
slowly pour the liquid from the pot through the strainer.
Any bits of apples or apple mush can be added to the bowl of cooked apples.
Measure out how much apple juice you have 
(should be about 4 cups)
Return juice to pot and add:
3 cups sugar
2 TBSP lemon juice
for every 4 cups

Bring to a boil
stir constantly until it gels up
(when it slides off a chilled spoon in one sheet)
Fill sterilized half pint jars with hot apple jelly to within 1/8" of rim
secure the lids and place in a water bath canner for 5 minutes
made about 4 half pints.

Now for the apples....
puree them in a processor
then return the applesauce to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
(add sugar or cinnamon if you want- I don't add anything).
Ladle hot applesauce into sterilized jars
leaving 1/2" headspace
place in hot water bath canner for 20 minutes (pints or quarts)

Remember to use sweet apples.
I used Golden Delicious and Mutsu (aka Crispin) apples
with some red apple varieties thrown in.