How To Make 2 Years Of Applesauce In A Few Days
Last month we were pretty hard-up and did the unthinkable...
We had to buy "applesauce" from the store. And what is worse...we were actually eating it!
Yes, we don't put much stock in the nondescript, store-bought, beige colored substances that loosely resemble applesauce :-). But this family REALLY likes applesauce and our homemade supply from 2 years ago was exhausted.
Needless to say, we were REALLY looking forward to apple season this year!
Awesome Apples--For Peanuts
Our all-time favorite apples for eating or applesauce is the Honeycrisp variety. The name is a perfect description.
Once again, this year we were able to purchase an entire orchard bin (600-800 pounds) of blemished Honeycrisps for a ridiculous price ($150 this year). So we were golden--or actually, our applesauce was!
We're in business! Now it's time to churn out some of the most delicious lip-smackin' applesauce you ever did put your teeth into!
The Not-So-Secret To Applesauce Success
Good Apples - When you start with good apples, it doesn't take much to turn out delicious applesauce. But if your apples are bland or of poor quality, it's going to take more work and additional ingredients to get it tasty.
Victorio Strainer* - This marvelous non-electric appliance is a life-saver! You can turn out a serious amount of applesauce in no time when using it. The Victorio Strainer makes peeling and coring unnecessary since the strainer removes all the undesirables. Just chop your apples into 1/4's or 1/8's and cook them. Then dump them in the Victorio and turn the crank. Voila--you have applesauce. And get this...they even have kits with an electric motor* so you don't have to use the hand crank.
Lemon Juice & Sweetener - If your apples are good, it is possible to make applesauce without any added ingredients, especially if you are freezing it. But if you are canning it as we do, it's likely going to turn a rather dark color. So we add 2 T. of Lemon Juice to each quart of applesauce. This keeps it looking nice and fresh and also adds a little additional acidity for safety. In order to offset the tanginess of the Lemon Juice, we also add around 1 T. of organic Raw Cane Sugar. If desired, you could probably use your favorite sweetener of choice, but be sure to experiment with a small quantity first.
Reusable Canning Lids - If you do a lot of canning, buying a bunch of lids each year gets old. So we purchased a bunch of reusable canning lids and have been very happy with them. The company that made ours is out of business, but the old standby is still going strong--Tattler Canning Lids. You can get them by the dozen*, or you can save a bunch of money and get 12 dozen of them* for a great price.
Don't Forget To Freeze - While we don't think it's a good idea to use freezing as a primary food storage method, it sure is nice to have some things frozen! So before we are done, we'll probably freeze some applesauce, since there's sometimes I really get a hankering for frozen applesauce. And the added perk is that freezing applesauce requires less work than canning.
How Long Does It Take?
This depends on how many people are helping and how diligently you work. Even if working by herself, Lisa can usually handle over 100 pounds of apples in a day--with 2 kids in tow.
So we figure on a few days of work in order to get a goodly supply of applesauce put up--for the next year or two. Not bad!
And oh, how delicious!
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