Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Applesauce Time

One thing I love about North Dakota, lots of people have their own apple trees and are more than willing to share them. Unfortunately most of my favorite varieties of apples do not tolerant the winter temps this far north. So I'm left with a tart apple called a Haralson (or varieties there of). I've processed probably about 2 bushels so far.

So a new apple variety has made my saucing a bit different this year. I haven't added sugar to my applesauce in years. I typically use a combination of gala, golden delicious, jonagolds, or other sweeter apples. Using those, I've had a sweet sauce requiring nothing but a touch of cinnamon, but that's just my taste. My boys and I aren't a fan of tart, so in goes the sugar. A trade off for free apples I guess.

While in Michigan I had the luxury of a wonderful friend Martha who taught me how to make and can applesauce. We always did it together and I used her equipment. Boy did I miss that when I moved to the northern plains. I've been using my apple-peeler-corer-slicer to prep my apples, then cook them down and mash them with a potato masher. It has worked effectively, but it's quite a bit of work. I do however love the chunkier texture of the applesauce.

So I gave in and got one of these beauties part way through this canning season.
Photo Credit
My Norpro Sauce Master a new friend. I'm inspired to try all sorts of new things with it... Tomato sauce is coming next, followed by mashed potatoes, pureed pumpkin, and all sort of veggie purees for enhancing recipes (like my loaded tomato sauce). The only issue is running out of freezer space and canning jars. It's a great problem to have.

I've gotten quite a few questions about canning lately.  I wish I was an expert on this. What I know is hot food, hot jars, hot lids, and a hot water bath. Keep everything hot to avoid bacteria. I use this website for most of my canning questions. I'm hoping to learn more about using a pressure cooker for canning so that I can put up my own meat sauces (marinara, alfredo, etc) and soups. Most of that is going to have to wait for winter for time to experiment.

For now I have all the goods from our CSA share to enjoy. The corn was amazing. I have 120+ ear of corn cooked and cut off the cob, 10 gallons of green beans, and 5 gallons of broccoli waiting in the freezer. The apples are sauced. Now to get a few more to make apple pie filling to can and some great desserts just to enjoy. Then bring on tomatoes, potatoes, and pumpkin.

We are going to eat well and healthy this winter!


  1. I make my applesauce with a potato masher too, and I've taken to hand peeling my apples, since my peeler/slicer works spotty. I think I need one of these handy contraptions though! Looks like fun!


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