A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Easy Applesauce

I had delicious applesauce at the farm today.  My farmer told me it was the easiest-ever applesauce to make, and she was right.  She says the secret is using a variety of apples, both sweet and tart.  Here's how to make 4-6 pints:
Peel and core a dozen apples, of 3-4 different varieties.  Quarter or chop them (I used my apple wedger and cut them in 8ths or a biscuit cutter for smaller chunks).  Put them in the crock pot, add one cup water or fruit juice (for full pot).  Sprinkle generously with any of the following or any combination of:  white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup and then spice with any of the following: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice or Penzey's Apple Pie Spice.  Turn the crock pot on low and cook until they are soft to your liking.  If you want to can it, put into hot jars, add lids and screw bands.  Put them in boiling water bath for 15 mins.  That's it!
 If doubling the recipe (2 doz apples),  use an
electric roaster (low setting) to cook them down.
Notes from 2012:   Twin-sis Deb brought me 2-1/2 dozen apples.  I peeled, cored and chopped them up a bit, put them in my roaster with 1 cup of my homemade apple syrup and 4 cups of my homemade pear syrup.  I then generously sprinkled the top with dark brown sugar (1/2-3/4 cup), added 1-2 small drops of vanilla, a light sprinkling of nutmeg and a more generous sprinkling of cinnamon.  Then a tiny sprinkling of salt.  Set it to cook on low until soft, then mashed any big chunks with the potato masher and canned it in half-pints, boiling water bath for 15 min.  It made 13 half pints of DELICIOUS applesauce.

Notes from 2013:  I used a mixed variety of Fairview Farms apples.  Peeled and cored them and then used my biscuit cutter to chop into pieces(a 4" wide open-top cookie cutter with fixed bucket-style handle).  I put them in my crockpot, added one cup rhubarb broth*, and sprinkled honey and a little less maple syrup.  Then generously sprinkled Penzey's Apple Pie Spice on top.  Mixed up and let cook on low until the apples were soft but not mushy.  Again DELICIOUS and I think this is my favorite recipe. 
*rhubarb cut up, covered with water and cooked down to half, then strained.  (a good way to use extra rhubarb)  

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