welcome to day 4 of canning week! today i want to talk about apples. especially since we are full blown into apple season here. i usually do apples three ways: applesauce, apple butter, and sliced apples in syrup. i've also dried a lot of apples as well, but this is canning week, so i'll zip it about the dehydrating...
this is my all time favorite apple butter recipe. it is easy and ever so tasty [i make the spiced variety]. i wouldn't know, but my mom swears it's delicious on a turkey sandwich. have i mentioned that canned goods make excellent gifts? really, you'll be surprised at how much people marvel over a jar of home canned pickles or jam. jared's grandpa is obsessed with my jam, so i like to bring him a jar whenever we see him. and it makes the perfect quick and easy birthday or last minute host/hostess gift. i like to write out cute labels. paper source makes really nice blank labels, and sweet preservation has some really cute ones that you can download for free.
i feel a little silly posting a "recipe" for apple sauce since it's such an easy thing to make. but i'll just share my tips. my all time favorite apple variety to use for sauce is mcintosh. apparently this is an east coast thing since most midwesterners have hardly heard of them and when i was at the orchard last weekend and asked the old dude there if the the macs were ready, he immediately asked if i was from "out east." apparently apple preference is a dead giveaway. i can live with that. i do not like sweet applesauce, and i cook it [like my mom always has] by simply quartering the apples [leaving the cores out but the peels on] and cooking them down with water. i like to leave the peels on because it makes the applesauce pink. no, i am not a four year old girl. i just like it that way. use a potato masher to mash it up. once it's reached a nice sauce-y consistency, you can either leave the peels in and can a chunky applesauce, or use a food mill to smooth it out and remove the peels. if you plan on using your applesauce for baking, i'd recommend removing the peels [learned from experience on that one].
to make 6 quarts of applesauce, i used 14lbs apples plus 4 cups water.
this is another instance where you really want to make sure to get the air bubbles out of each jar before sealing and processing, because you can experience siphoning and some loss of liquid. again, as long as the jars are sealed, this is not a problem. just wipe any sticky liquid off the sides and store as usual.
stay tuned for a canning week wrap-up tomorrow!