Amanda gets sauced

One of the two foodstuffs that I can that we cannot make it through winter without is applesauce. You can serve it alongside a roast, add it to the braising liquid of a stew, or bake it into a cake. No matter how much I put up, it never seems like enough.

The first year I made applesauce I did so properly: I went over to my mom’s house and she showed me the ropes and even supplied the eastern Washington apples we used. The next year I raided neighbor Aaron’s three over-productive trees. The year after that I came home with a trunk full of scabby mystery apples from a plot of land my now-ex-boss had recently purchased. Last year a former co-worker shared her apples with me when her trees started to buckle under the weight. This year the apples came home with us alongside the pigs in a 50 lb dog food bag. This year, I also used a different method to make my applesauce, using my spiffy new food mill.
7/8ths of the Apple Applesauce 
  1. Core and quarter your apples, but do not peel. Fill your kettle with apples and add 1-2 cups of water. Cover and cook on medium-high heat for abut 15 minutes, stirring just two or three times. (You are essentially steaming the apples.)
  2. Remove the kettle from the heat and pass the apples through a food mill into a second kettle using a medium screen. The screen will filter out the peel. Put this kettle on low heat and cover.
  3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 as necessary to fill the second kettle. Meanwhile, begin heating water in canner for boiling water bath canning.
  4. When second kettle is full, sweeten to taste and add cinnamon, if desired. I used brown sugar to sweeten this year’s applesauce. Remember, bland applesauce may be better than the alternative because it’s a pinch to add more sugar or cinnamon later but you can’t take it out.
  5. Fill jars with hot applesauce, leaving ½ inch headspace. Secure lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath, 15 minutes for pints and 20 for quarts. (These numbers are from the Plaid Book*.  You can trust ’em.)
If it were any easier it would be blackberry jam!
– Amanda

*The Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book.

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