Monday, October 15, 2012

Apples, Applesauce, Apple Butter

My husband drove to a farm early this past Saturday and came home with 2.5 bushels of apples.  Since discovering we could keep apples all through the winter in Styrofoam coolers out in our garage, we've stocked up each fall with several varieties.  Ida Red and Golden Delicious keep really well, so we always get those...

 

and this year we also bought Empire and Jonagold for eating now, baking, and to add extra dimension to our sauce.



All of these apple varieties have great flavor independently, but combined, they make a really wonderful applesauce.  We spent most of Saturday (and long into the night), turning a good many of them into that.

Have you ever seen one of these?


It's a Squeezo.


You'll have to excuse the less-than-stellar pictures of this whole operation, but good light is hard to come by in this part of the kitchen and I opted for a couple quick shots with the point and shoot rather than running upstairs to grab the DSLR. 

Here's how the Squeezo works.  You begin by cleaning and quartering apples.  No need to remove the seeds or peels.  You then dump the cleaned apples, a few at a time, into boiling water to cook until soft.  When the apples are soft enough that the peels are beginning to fall off and they can be mashed, you lift them from the water and put them in the Squeezo's big funnel, pushing them down with a wooden plunger.


You then turn the crank (kids love helping with this part--or at least my daughter does), and a large corkscrew inside pushes the apples to the left.  The applesauce comes out through the strainer screen and slides down the drain tray into a bowl or pan while all the apple waste--peels, seeds, etc.--pours out the end.


I'd never seen of one of these before meeting my husband as my family always made fresh, chunky applesauce sweetened with cinnamon and sugar.  The Squeezo makes the smooth kind of applesauce you'd buy in a store, but with much, much better flavor that depends on the apples you choose.  We don't add any sugar and enjoy it by itself, on top of pancakes, and in baked goods.  This year we canned 17 quarts, which should last us until next fall, and the Squeezo makes the process much simpler.  We also made a double batch of apple butter (11 pints), which is simply applesauce with a lot of sugar and warm spices added, cooked down until it reaches a spreadable consistency similar to jam.  We finished the whole lot just 10 minutes before 1 a.m. on Sunday, and thankfully, all the jars sealed (always a nice thing). 


Apple Butter (from the Presto Instructions & Recipes book that came with our pressure canner)

16 medium apples (about 4 lbs.) made into 2 quarts of apple pulp
4 c. sugar (I cut this to 3, or 6 c. for a double batch)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Combine apple pulp, sugar, and spices in a large saucepot.  Cook slowly until thick enough to round up on a spoon.  Stir frequently to prevent sticking.  Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process 10 minutes using boiling water canning method.  Yields about 5 pints. 

3 comments:

Lori said...

Can you please include your recipe for the apple sauce? And, how do you get 17 quarts to last a year? Maybe we go through it too fast...

Sara B. @ {Egg and Twig} and {Mama Thinks Funny} said...

Lori, there really isn't a recipe for the applesauce. It's just apple puree! We can what you see there in the bowl. We go through about a jar or maybe a jar & a half a month. It's not something we eat every day. However, there is not a baby in the house right now, which makes a difference! When it comes to baby food, applesauce is a great base for a lot of blends and we go through more. :)

Lori said...

Excellent! Thanks! :-D