Thursday, August 19, 2010

Applesauce Magic

       Today we went apple-picking. Free apples, just pick 'em yourself. It only took us a few minutes to fill the two boxes we brought in the Jeep. I'm guessing we picked 100 or so apples.

      Now, that would be a daunting
chore if it weren't for my handy kitchen gadgets! I remember making applesauce about 30 years ago, and it was an all-day process... peeling, coring, slicing, cooking, pushing everything through a special  sieve, then, finally, canning it all. But, today I made applesauce "like Granda used to make", only much more speedily. Moshe and I worked together on getting the apples ready to cook; Moshe manned our newest gadget - the Apple Peeler-Corer-Slicer. Then, I chopped them a bit more, and discarded any brown spots. We processed 40 apples within 15 minutes!
After cooking them, I removed about 1/3 of them and mashed them with an old-fashioned potato masher.  The remaining 2/3's were quickly blended in the blender. I combined it all, stirred
it up, and started the canning process.

       Here is the result of our labor. Eight quarts of
wonderful applesauce, ready to be stored away and opened on some snowy day.
     My Recipe for Old-TImey Applesauce:
                                      (makes 8 Quarts)
40 Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  6 Cups Water
  2 Cups Sugar
  2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

     Combine all ingredients in LARGE pot; bring to boil, then, simmer for 20 minutes. For chunky applesauce, remove approximately one-third of the apples and chop them coarsely; set aside.  Blend the remaining apple mixture (in batches) with a blender or food processor until smooth; combine both mixtures and stir.  Have your hot canning jars, tops, and rings ready; also, have your water boiling for a canning bath.
(***Optional: Place a few pieces of orange and a few whole cloves in each jar as you fill it with applesauce.)
Place into canning bath for 20 minutes. Remove, and listen for the wonderful "ping" of the jars sealing!  Music to  the ears of a country cook!

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