Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Apple Queen

Remember those apples we brought home from Apple Hill? Well, we've been making applesauce. My husband and I do this almost every year, because at Christmas time, we often make up food gift baskets for family members. Last year in September, we went to visit Kairle in Utah for a quilt retreat and made a stop at the Lehi Roller Mills where we bought several pancake and muffin mixes for last year's baskets. We aren't sure what we'll put together this year, but applesauce seemed like a good start.

After several years of making applesauce, my husband and I have the process down to the efficiency of a production line. When I got home from work, he had already prepared (peeled, sliced, cored) two batches of apples. Later, while he made a Starbucks run and I was cooking the second batch, I zipped out another batch.

Do you have one of these nifty contraptions? If you do anything with apples and don't have one, do yourself a favor and buy one--buy them as gifts for anyone else you know who peels apples. I've been using these for about 20 years now and this is the second one I've purchased--the first one finally gave out a couple years ago. They are super fast!

If you're interested in making applesauce and don't have a recipe, read on and I'll share mine.

First you'll need about 12 to 13 apples per batch--9 cups of peeled, cored, and thinly sliced apples. Use a pot large enough to accommodate the apples, and to that you'll add 1/2 cup of apple cider and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

Cook over medium/high heat until the mix comes to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

Once the apples are cooked, add 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/8 tsp. of salt, and about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (can you tell I don't really measure much?!). Add nutmeg if you like--it's not my favorite, so I don't. Continue to cook the apple mixture for about a minute or two.

Applesauce can be refrigerated for a week or two, or you may want to can the applesauce for longer storage. If you aren't familiar with the canning process, you may want to read up on it--I'm sure there are sources on the internet. You'll need canning jars with seals and bands, but the process is fairly simple and worth the effort. I managed to process three batches of applesauce in about an hour and a half.

Oh, and on the last batch, which we'll probably keep for ourselves, I added some raisins and blackberries, which resulted in a reddish pink applesauce. Kind of pretty to look at, and I suspect it will taste pretty good too! This chunky applesauce can also be used as a base for pie and pastry fillings. Yum!

I have another box of apples, but it will have to wait until my husband and I come back from Ft. Bragg. I'm thinking about hunting down a good recipe for apple butter or, better yet, apple pumpkin butter similar to the jar I bought at Apple Hill--that stuff is seriously good!


Tazzie said...

Ohhh, it all looks just super-yum. I have one of those apple peeler/corers, and they're just the best thing ever. Though I wish I had one that clamped to the bench, that would be great.

Eileen said...

Apple sauce looks so good. Neat how the raisns and blackberries turn it that pretty red.

I don't make applesauce but my SMIL would have cooked it more and sometimes even put through the food processor to make it smooth.

Teresa said...

My, my, the memories you bring back. Every year when I was growing up I'd help my mother can a ton of stuff. Applesauce and applebutter were two things she made. I haven't had applebutter in years and years. I used to love that stuff.

We'd can any fruit available to us, tomatoes, corn and we would even cold pack beef, to get us through the winter.

Wow... memories...

Anonymous said...

Love how yummy your applesause with blackberries looks. My DGM always put her applesause throgh a seive and added red cinnamon hearts. This made it pink and tasty. When I do mine I don't peel and core the apples. I just quarter them and cook. Then I put them through an Amish contraption I have that takes out the seeds, skin, etc., add the sugar, cinnamon hearts, etc. and refrigerate. Neat to see how different gals do their's. Have a great little trip.

Linda Z

Thimbleanna said...

Wow! You've been busy -- it all looks so goooooddddd! And Holy Cow -- you mentioned the L-word -- Lehi Mills! I LOVE their pancake mixes. I'm almost out of my blueberry mix -- I hoard it. I tried to get more on my last trip to Utah, but they were out. Boohoo!

Marcie said...

Oh wow, Kim! Those jars look so beautiful! I made lots of applesauce years ago, when we had kids at home and apple trees. I used to cook all the apples with skins on and then put them through a big strainer thing. It worked great and no peeling. I do love the chuncks though!

Vicky said...

That looks fabulous!! You two make a good team (but you already knew that!!) Have fun on your holiday! And think about all of us who have to work while you're away playing!!!!!

Kairle said...

Wow! You two really got a lot accomplished last night. It looks so delicious!!!

Cheryl said...

Those pictures are beautiful. Thanks so much for the great recipe
and all the tips.