Monday, October 26, 2015

The Making of Applesauce and my beloved parents!

Today is my parent's 41st wedding anniversary!
A meaningful thing on this day that I want to write about
canning applesauce, as my parents have been making applesauce for years.
My Dad, when we kids were young, used to do a lot of the work
himself while Mom tended us kids.
Now they do it together and there is no better applesauce than theirs.
My Dad esp. love the Spy Apple, which
I was not able to get here. 
I dream of going to an orchard that has them someday!
My Mom and Dad not only make applesauce, but my Dad
has always been gardening and has grown many 
tomatoes and green beans over the years.
They blanch the beans and keep them in the freezer, 
they have canned tomatoes and tomato mushroom soup
over the years as well. 
Sometimes I will call home 
(I often call my Mom once a day, just to talk, it's a huge blessing)
and my Mom will have heated up some soup for herself 
and Dad that they canned earlier that year.
Well, this year I finally was able to get apples
and can them myself, using a waterbath canning method,
as opposed to pressure cooking, which is what my parents and
my parents-in-law do.
So a run down of what we did and what worked and what did not....
What we learned:

1. when cooking down the apples, check often and once they are becoming 
soft and more like applesauce, one has to be careful to not burn, to add a bit of water
and stir a lot.  I realized that the sauce itself will start sticking to the bottom and burn
very quickly if not attended to.
Once it starts to have this issue, even after adding a cup or less of water,
it will need to be checked within another minute of this to keep it from burning!
2.  Our first pots of apples did burn on the bottom and
cleaning the pots delayed us a good hour I would say total 
as we could not use the pots again to cook down more apples until they were clean!
3. Put the apples remains (I call them apple poops, I know, very mature! :) ) back through
the Kitchen Aid Fruit and Veg Strainer for a second go as some of the apple flesh 
was discarded the first time through.
4. Be careful to have a ratio of sweet to tart apples.  
I totally forgot about this and got some very sweet tasting applesauce as a result.
What happened as that we had half a bushel of tart Winesaps and then half a bushel of everything else
and we dumped the Winesaps in the newly cleaned sink full of water first
and then the rest and did not realize that we were taking more of the sweet apples first
without proper ratio for sweet/tart when cooking our first apples down.
My Mom later told me they are not only careful in keeping the right ratio at all times,
but they use an old electric turkey roaster to keep all the applesauce hot
together so the flavours meld together even more.
I realized my mistake a bit too late but will have to work on that for next time, 
5. I think I want more tart apples than what I had this time.
We used tons of Stayman Winesaps and a good amount of golden delicious,
some cortlands, some macouns and I think others.
I need perhaps NO golden delicious next time and need to research more
on what apples are tart and what ratios my parents try to do in making their applesauce.

What was wonderful:
1. The kitchen Aid Attachment made the applesauce wonderfully.
No hand-cranking. Saved so much time! 
2. Making the Applesauce with a friend - much easier to do with someone than alone!!!
3. Having a great return - canned over 15 quarts of applesauce!
4. I was able to label the esp. sweet ones so that I will know which is which.
5. I labeled each lid with a sharpie as I am sure my parents old me that you can't reuse 
the canning lids after using them for canning - so those will be regulated to the many
things I use mason jars for dry food storage. I was glad I thought of labeling them,
as then they will not get mixed up with new ones! 


October Rose said...

Oh, we had Northern Spy apples for the first time this year! We went apple-picking at an orchard that had them with some friends. :)

Martha said...

Mmmm! I am glad to see you left the skins on them. My sister made applesauce and it turned pink because of the red skins.

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I have only ever made small batches of applesauce for use immediately, so the process of canning is fascinating to me!