Applefest 2014, Part 2: Cinnamon Applesauce

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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 😀

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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