Apple sauce!

Discussion in 'The Rural Life' started by Omie, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I think we have about the best apples in the world here in New York state. Every year in October my husband and I make our apple sauce for the year. It usually lasts until the following July or August if we don't give too many jars as presents.
    This week we went to our local orchard and picked our own two bushels of Jona Gold apples right off the trees.

    We have developed a finely tuned assembly line at home-
    I wash the apples, Brian peels and cores them on his little 20 yr old countertop crank machine, I sterilize the jars and lids while he cooks the pots of chunky apple sauce, then I fill the jars and process them and stack them on the table. There are always 3 big pots going- two of apple sauce in various stages, and one of the canning jars boiling. My canning pot can hold 7 quarts at a time.

    Today it took the two of us 6 hours from start to finish (including kitchen cleanup) to peel, cook, and can the two full bushels of apples. Yield: 42 quarts of YUMMY YUMMY chunky apple sauce. :Dancing: MMMmmmmm! Last year we only made 19 quarts. Twice as much this year, I think it'll last a whole year this time. All we added was a touch of cinnamon, since the apples were so fresh and crisp and tart/sweet already- just as you'd like them, no sugar needed at all. We LOVE chunky home made natural fresh-picked apple sauce!

    Tomorrow and Tuesday I'm still a little overly busy, lots of work deadlines....but I will try to post the pictures here, also the pictures of my first honey harvest- looks like it will be maybe one whole gallon!- more than I had thought it would be from just a few frames.
     
  2. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    New York State does have the BEST apples! I lived in various places around the state as I was growing up and remember picking apples and my mother fixing them as you are. Mmm...taste memories. :)
     

  3. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    When my tree produces, I, too, make applesauce! Unfortunately, I do not have a helper, and it is usually an all-day affair, trying to do all things at once. My sister gave me one of those WONDERFUL hand-crank peelers, and after a day of that, I call to thank her for the best present ever.

    How do you make chunky sauce? I put mine through a strainer, and then add cooked apple chunks later, which is WAY too much work.
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    We use no strainers at all. If you like chunky apple sauce why would you strain it at all?
    We core and peel the apples in the little countertop crank wonder-machine, which leaves them spiral-cut into 1/4" thin 'slices'. break apple sprials in half or quarters and toss into a big spaghetti pot with about a cup of water, no more. Fill the whole pot with apples. No need to try to cut up the chunks into smaller pieces, they will break up more as they cook and get stirred. Cook on high for only about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cinnamon to taste. When it becomes sort of consistency of a saucy apple pie filling, still with plenty of big apple chunks but bubbling and looking sort of half-cooked, then just load it hot into jars, cap and process in boiling water bath for 20 minutes. It keeps cooking during that canning bath. Remove and let cool, check seals. No straining! Nice chunky sweet apple sauce! :p
     
  5. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Thanks, Omie! I need to try that. To think I've been boiling, straining, then cooking for all these years. Of course, I have an awesome strainer.
     
  6. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    I miss apple trees! My hubby and kids LOVE apple season back home...apple sauce, apple pies for the freezer (and table), apple butter, apple cakes, fried apples with supper, apple dumplings, apple fritters, spiced apple rings are so pretty in the jars fresh from the canner, gingerbread pancakes with apple syrup, apple cider, and dried apples for winter teas.

    I don't know if I've ever had apples from New York. I honestly never thought about them growing there.
     
  7. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Ooooh....that all makes me hungry!!

    MB- can you tell me how you make those canned spiced apple rings?
     
  8. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Sure thing Omie...it's an old recipe that my grandmother gave me along with her recipes for spiced apple sticks and ginger apples. I'll warn you though...it's not exactly health food, but it sure is tasty and absolutely beautiful in jars.

    15-20 medium sized apples
    6c sugar
    3c water
    1 8-10 oz package of red cinnamon candies
    optional- a few drops of red food coloring

    Wash and peel apples then cut crosswise into 1/4 in slices (i personally like mine just a bit thicker). Cut out the core with a spoon or melon baller. Place the apple rings in salt water solution (3tbs salt to 4 quarts water) or an ascorbic or citric acid solution to prevent discoloration.

    Combine sugar, water, cinnamon candies, and food color if used in a large kettle or stove top dutch oven. Bring to a boil; boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly.

    Drain apples; rinse well; add to syrup. Cook until apples are tender and nearly translucent... around 5 minutes.

    Pack apple rings into 4 hot pint jars. Pour syrup over apples, filling to within 1/2" of the jar top. Wipe jar rim; adjust lids.

    Process in boiling water bath for 25 minutes. Start to count processing time when water in canner returns to boiling. Remove jars and complete seals.

    We always had those with pork roast or pork chops or smoked venison. When I was little and more ornery than anyone ever ought to be I used to sneak jars out of the pantry and sit under the mulberry tree with my little brother snacking away.
     
  9. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    What a great old fashioned recipe and what a great story about sneaking the jars under a tree!
    Thanks!
    (I think I've dealt with enough apples for the moment however....lol!)
     
  10. Ladyleo191

    Ladyleo191 New Member

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    Scribbling this recipe as fast as I can, since someone we all know and love brought me a tow sack full of apples this afternoon.

    This sounds so good, I can't wait to try it out! Thanks for sharing, :)
     
  11. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    y'all are more than welcome...my grandmother's old recipes are such treasures to me that I love to share them.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Omie writes:
    I think we have about the best apples in the world here in New York state.

    tecumseh:
    the best apples like the best watermelons are those stolen by young boys no matter where they are grown.

    I can recall folks (generally organized around some church) back in West 'by God' Virginia cooking up apple butter as a means of raising money. all I can recall is them cooking the stuff up in flat pans (maybe cooper?) and the smell that hung in the air.
     
  13. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    When I was in college, I used to bicycle home at the end of the school year... from New Hampshire to Connecticut, stopping to stay with friends along the way. The best apple tree in the world grew at about lunch-break time from my starting point, and was close enough that I could pick one without leaving the pavement. Mmmm... Memories!
     
  14. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    It's easy to make apple butter in a slow cooker (crockpot). just start by making apple sauce in your usual way, then add a bit more spice (cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg), and fill the slow cooker to within 1" of the top. Leave on LOW and be sure to prop the top very slightly open with a teaspoon handle to allow to evaporate. Leave for about 12-24 hours (check for when it seems done) and voila!- apple butter!
     
  15. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    Mmmm! But, stupid question...Do you need to stir it during that 12-24 hours? (I think I'll try this!)
     
  16. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Not really. I might give it one stir after 8 hours. I usually set it up and then go to bed and it's not yet ready in the morning. It's important to set it on LOW.
    Be sure when leaving a crock pot running for hours that it's in good shape- no fraying cords or cracked parts, and set it out in a safe place where nothing can knock it or get overheated- like curtains etc.
    Crock pots have been improved a LOT in the past 10 years, and a nice one is usually less than $30. I'm sometimes horrified to see friends still using their old 1970's ones that have cracked gaskets, split cords, or broken dials and are clearly fire hazards. Sometimes they tell me thier old crockpot overheats the kitchen counter it sits on, so they put it on a baking rack. This makes me shudder!! It should NOT be making the countertop really hot- that's a danger sign!
     
  17. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    Thanks! :D

    I love my crockpot and use it quite often, so I'd be comfortable leaving it for that long. (It's not new, but it's in excellent condition still. ;) )

    My house will smell wonderful this weekend...
     
  18. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Great! for apple butter, it needs to evaporate slowly, so don't forget to stick a teaspoon handle under the lid at one end to prop it up just a tiny bit and let the steam/moisture escape.
     
  19. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Omie, if understood correctly you first make your apple sauce, then move it to the slow cooker to evaporate slowly until it has consistency of butter. Right? Thanks
     
  20. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Yes that's right, i make apple sauce in a regular pot, stir in a little spice, then put it in the slow cooker at least overnight on LOW, with the top cracked open a tiny bit to let the moisture escape. You'll see when it's just right like apple butter. Leave at least 3/4" space at top so the stuff can bubble.