Apples and fall just go together. We hit two local farms for apples this year, Tabora Orchards and Solly Brothers Farm. Picking apples is an annual tradition. We love going to Solly Farm because part of the picking process includes a hayride to the orchard and using an apple picker....a basket on a stick! This year the apples were so abundant we were able to pick the apples ourselves off the tree instead of using the picker! For $12 we brought home half a bushel of apples! About half of them, at least 12 pounds of apples, became applesauce to be enjoyed all winter long.
Making applesauce could not be easier. I did a bit of research to see what the Ball canning book suggested along with a favorite canning book of mine, Food in Jars. I ended up doing a hybrid of the recipes. When canning foods with a boiling water canner, it's very important to follow a recipe, especially with the processing of the jars. No one likes botulism, especially your family!
For my cinnamon applesauce I used 6 lbs of apples that I cored, peeled and sliced into wedges. I ended up with approximately 8 cups of apple slices. To that I added about a tablespoon of bottled lemon juice and tossed them while slicing to prevent browning. I added all the apples to my pot and to that added about half a cup of apple cider and about a quarter of a cup of organic sugar. Over medium heat that apples cooked, partially covered, for about ten minutes with frequent stirring, until tender. I used a stick blender to chop up the large pieces of apple and puree them into sauce. I continued to cook the applesauce another five to ten minutes on a low boil after adding a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon. (I like Penzey's cinnamon!) At this point the applesauce was ready to eat! To process it, I followed the directions for canning in the Ball Blue Book and processed the jars for twenty minutes.
I ended up making two batches of applesauce, since I had so many apples. I left one jar out of the canner so we could enjoy it that day. My son loved it! I also added cinnamon to the applesauce before canning because that's how we like our sauce here! This is a fall treat that we will enjoy all winter long. If it makes it that long!