As I mentioned in Part 1, applesauce was high up on my to-do list for canning this year. As baby food, snack, or ingredient — there’s really no bad in having lots of applesauce around. Although I had previously made it before, I never had such a glut of apples that I was able to try more than one recipe. This year, I did at least five and half our apples are still in deep freeze for later processing 😀
The first time around, I just washed and halved the apples before tossing them into the steamer. This was the only time I would do this, since I had not yet purchased my rotary apple corer/peeler.
After the steamer had extracted the juice from the apple halves (notice how much volume is lost after cooking), I just ran all the leftover pulp through a food mill to remove the inedible bits. While not as tedious as peeling and coring all those apples by hand, it still required far more exertion than when I would later use the rotary peeler. Plus, cleaning out of the metal grill afterwards is always annoying. I will note, however, that the food mill did give me the nicest texture of sauce — silky smooth while still having a fair amount of body. Using a hand blender to purée for later recipes meant that I was constantly struggling with the balance between too chunky and too runny. For smaller batches where texture is a concern, I’d say it’s definitely worth sticking with the mill.
We don’t waste much here at Casa Kerfuffle. The peels and discarded apple bits were saved to be fed to the rabbits, for whom apples are a special treat. I could also have composted directly, but I figured the rabbit waste would end up in the compost bin anyway and this way I’d have fatter, happier bunnies.
1 – Applesauce after having been run through the food mill. 2 – A sprinkling of citric acid to help with preservation and to prevent discoloration (I’ve seen a ratio of 1/4 teaspoon per liter of sauce recommended). 3 – Adding cinnamon to taste while heating up for the canning process. 4 – Saving a bowlful for a late night snack! During harvest season, I was pretty much processing apples every night for weeks on end after the baby went to sleep. By the time I finished at midnight, it was nice to have something warm to eat.
Just a few jars after canning. This first version didn’t even have a specific recipe, I was just tossing stuff in and tasting as I went. Still, you can’t really go wrong with adding cinnamon to apples, can you?