It is rare for me to have enough fruits and vegetables to be able to can them because I do a lot of juicing. Usually my problem is not having enough fruits and vegetables but this was not the case this summer. I was blessed to get a car full of ‘deer’ apples. Even more than I could possibly juice.
I realize that canning is kind of a dead (or at least dying) skill. But I grew up doing it, and want to pass the tradition down to my children. If nothing else, we will have more food to eat!
This is how you take cheap ‘deer’ apples (the type that fall off the trees before being picked, and thus can’t be sold for as high of a price) into yummy applesauce…
#1 – Cut apples into quarters and remove any bad spots. The seeds can stay, but the little fur at the bottom and the stem has to go.
#2 – Boil/steam apples in a big ole’ pressure cooker. If you don’t know what a pressure cooker is or how it works, I would wikipedia it. This pressure cooker does NOT have to have a gauge.
#3 – After cooking for about 15 minutes the apples will be soft enough to send through an applesauce maker (or a ‘fruit strainer’). There are many varieties available. This is the old school one my mom bought back when dinosaurs were the threat to humanity.
#4 – Strain the apples. Catch the waste and the sauce in separate bowls (I like a bread tin for my sauce-catcher).
#5 – Dump all the sauce into a big bucket. You can add a bit of sugar and/or cinnamon at this point, if desired. I’m kind of a purist, though.
#6 – Restrain the waste – it is amazing how much sauce you are able to get out of the ‘reject’ side of the strainer. Believe me you don’t want to throw away all of this yummy applesauce.
#7 – Scoop the sauce from the bucket into large mason jars. It is in the bucket initially so that it will have uniform texture – some batches will be runnier and some will be thicker. This is usual.
#8 – Wipe all bottles and put *NEW* sealable lids and (new or not new) screw on lids onto each jar.
#9 – Put jars into large pressure cooker pot with gauge.
#10 – Heat on high until steam is pouring out of steam hole. Place weight and wait for gauge to reach 10 PSI. Lower temperature to low or medium, to maintain 10 PSI pressure.
#11 – Cook for 5 minutes at 10 PSI. Pull off heat and allow pot to cool on it’s own (do not remove weight!)
#12 – When pressure has returned to normal, remove lid and remove jars.
#13 – wipe jars and allow to sit for a full 24 hours. Check seal (tight, not poppy) before storing.
#15 – Voila…you, my friend are ready to eat applesauce for months to come.
Enjoy your applesauce…but not too much…