Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Harvest Applesauce

I'm sure that for those of you who don't get all excited about canning and eating, the last bunch of posts have been BORING! Bear with me for one more post.  I am excited to see that people are finding my recipes while googling-and so just HAVE to add one on applesauce--in the event that it may make someone's day.  I have made applesauce for the last 4-5 years, and usually can a few jars to enjoy later in the year.  This year I found a bushel of them on my back porch, and started wondering if I could use my big roaster oven (used for soup at our church fundraiser) to speed the process.  I am pleased to say it was a success-so I felt obligated to share the process.  It didn't speed the time to make it--it actually took longer, but it did free up my time spent stirring and watching a pot boil--not to mention that it did make it much easier to process a large number of apples, rather than fix them all in small batches.
I started with 3 huge bowls of tart apples, I think that these were Lodi apples.  My original recipe calls for 8 lbs, or about 24 cups of peeled, cored, and sliced apples--I doubled that recipe for my roaster oven--and it was just enough!
Here's the REAL star of the show--my pampered chef apple peeler, corer, slicer gadget, bought for half price about 10 years ago--man will I be SAAAAAD when it dies, it has worked a million apples for me in it's lifetime!! It makes fast work of getting the apples ready.  Then I use a paring knife to cut the whole, sliced apple in half and throw it in the measuring bowl.
There's my 48 cups of apple slices in the roaster.  I set it at 250 degrees, threw in 4 cups of water and let it simmer for about 3-4 hours.  I stirred it occasionally--not because I had to, but because I couldn't stand to NOT look--realize that each time you open the roaster, it adds on more cooking time.
It's done when you can easily mash it up with a potato masher.  Some people put it through the food processor, but we like ours a little chunky.  You can see the difference between the chunks on the right and the sauce on the left of my roaster.
At this point, you throw in sugar and cinnamon, and any other spice you might concoct.  We prefer brown sugar over white, and for this batch I used 2 cups of brown sugar and 3 tsp cinnamon.  You may certainly adjust the sugar to taste--we prefer ours on the "less-sweet" side.  Remember--this is an ART, not a science!
I let it cook in the roaster for about another hour or so, and then called the taste-testers!!
2 smiles and an empty bowl later, I think they liked it!!
Below you will find the recipe for the smaller batch, which I just cook in a large saucepot on the stove.  I decided to freeze this batch, so I put the sauce into quart freezer bags and threw them in the deep freeze.

Homemade Harvest Applesauce
8 lbs cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 24 cups)
2 cups water
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
In an 8-10 qt pot, combine apples and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until the apples are tender. Mash or put through food processor to make the desired consistency. Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Bring to boil. Ladle into sterilized pint jars, leaving ½ inch head space. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes for pints or 20 minutes for quarts. You may also put into freezer containers and freeze. Yields about 6 pints. I sometimes add 1 cup red hots (decreasing sugar to ¾ cup) and cook it until the red hots are melted.

You'll be SOOO sad when your supply is gone and you have to resort to the boughten kind again--TRUST me!! While you are waiting on your applesauce to work, don't forget to throw a fresh apple crisp in your oven--you won't be sorry!  This was so easy, that I think I will go pick some more apples and do it again next week--Hey, we go through a LOOOOOT of food around this place!!  A glutten for punishment??  Probably so! Have a great week!!


  1. That looks good and your recipe looks much easier than one I tried years ago. I swore off making applesauce but you may have inspired me to try again if I get a batch of apples.

  2. Oh YUM!! I need to find some apples!

  3. Boy,I'm sure looking forward to my Christmas basket this year filled with pear marmalade,pear honey preserves,applesauce and jellies (and anything else that you make before now and then)!!
    mmmm...!!! ;o)

  4. Those are 2 very precious smiles I saw on the taste testers! I love the shots you post, so much color and beauty. Dale

  5. Hi Melanie,
    I have really enjoyed your blog. I'm just an old country girl at heart and it's fun reading about your life in the country. Keep blogging, you do it wonderfully. You make me wish I lived in the country again!