Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Homemade Applesauce & the Joy of Canning

Last Saturday my family and I went to Shaw Orchards to have our pictures taken, (by Gracie Jane Photography) and after we we finished walking around we went in the store. Gracie was telling me about the orchard's 'seconds' so I decided to buy some.

The 'seconds' are basically apple that just aren't as pretty as the rest, maybe have a bruise, but are perfect for making applesauce or butter. So when we got back home I decided to make applesauce. Because I didn't want to stand by the stove all day while the apples broke down I decided to make it in my slow cooker, which made it super simple. All you need is:

-about a dozen apples, peeled cored and cut into large chunks
-1/3 cup of sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp all spice

Put every thing in the slow cooker and cook on high for about 3-4 hours. Checking at the 3 hour mark for softness. I use a potato masher to mash the apples because we like chunky applesauce. If you like a smoother consistency, work in batches and purée in a food processor or blender.

Now, my adventures in canning. Well it wasn't really too much of an adventure, it was quite easy actually. This was my first time, but it won't be my last!

Keeping the applesauce on warm, I prepared my jars. I simmered the jars and lids in water to sterilize them. Once that was finished, I filled the jars leaving 1/2". (I looked on www.freshpreserving.com for times.) I then placed the lids on, finger tight and placed in boiling water for 20 minutes. Then let then cool and check the seal 24 hours later to make sure the seals were good. Easy peasy!

This was my first ever canning experience and I was pleasantly surprised, I was expecting it to take longer for some reason.  But come summer I hope to be a canning fool.