Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Apple Sauce, Apple Butter, Apple Juice Canned

We love apples here, I love the season. I usually think of fall when I think of apples, but a friends tree had some ripe and she shared with me. It was about a walmart bag and a half full. So I got up and got the apple master out, if you don't have one and do a lot of apples its something you may consider looking into. Here is what it is, if you don't know. I love that thing! The baby only let me do so much this morning, but I got my large stock pot about half full. When you do apples don't throw away the peel and cores, put it in another pan and make juice from it. When peeling my apples I keep them in the intended pan and fill it halfway with water, I add lemon juice to keep them from browning, I also did this in my juice pan.
Peels and cores for juice.
When you get the desired amount of apples cut and peeled, just pour out the water and add new to cook. I kept the water line about half way up the apples for the sauce/butter and cover the peels with water for the juice. Now you can cook the apples for about 20 minutes or until they are soft, on high, I cook the juice pieces on low for a while until they fall apart. I take the easy route on the pureeing part, I use my potato masher and squish it up. If you like it chunky then don't squish so much, or do it more for smoother texture. If you still don't like the texture you can always let it cool and blend it. At this point you have apple sauce. I add sugar to taste, I really don't have a recipe. For me it depends on the sweetness of the apples and who intends to eat it. I make it a little sweeter for my kids and a little less sweet for my Grandpa. If you want to keep it as apple sauce return it to a good boil and can it from here. Leave a 1/2" head space, remove air bubbles and process for 20 minutes in boiling water canner. If you want apple butter and some spices to the mashed up apples. I detest cloves, so I make mine with cinnamon and nutmeg. I just add these to taste and then I cook it a few minutes and taste it again. When you get the taste right turn it down to low and let it cook for a bit. Stir it often, and when it mounds up on a spoon it is ready to can. How long does this take? It depends on how much water you added to the apples when you first cooked and how much sugar you added too.
Mounded up on spoon.
When the apple butter is cooked down, it is ready to can.  Leave a 1/4" head space and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Now your juice pan has been cooking away this whole time, turn it off and let it cool. When cooled a bit, strain it through cheese cloth, or a clean dish towel. Discard the peels and cores and the leftover is your juice. If you are going to can it heat it back up, then ladle it into your jars leaving a 1/4" head space and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. You can get so much out of apples and your house smells great too. I hope you have fun with them.

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