Sunday, September 14, 2008

Feeling saucy

After a slow start, apple season has finally commenced in the PNW. We lucked out in getting plenty of Gravenstein apples from a neighbor and friend. Now we have to turn them into applesauce and other treats.Applesauce is pretty easy to make. Put about an inch of water or apple juice in a heavy-bottomed pan (we use our brew kettle). Chop the apples into large chunks. Don't peel or core them, just make sure there are no bugs or bruised areas. Fill up the pot and start it boiling. Once it starts boiling, turn it down to a strong simmer and cook until the apples are all the way soft. Then scoop them into a food mill and grind away. You'll end up with a pot of almost-ready sauce.....
....and a pile of peels, seeds and apple bits. The hens love this stuff!
Put the pot (this is our soup/cheese pot) on to a low simmer and season to taste. For 7 quarts, we used 1/4 cup raw cane sugar and almost a 1/4 cup white sugar. Then we added cinnamon & nutmeg. Perfect!

Fill up sterilized jars, top with sterilized lids, and process in a water bath canner - 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts. Let cool on a rack and listen for the happy sound of jars sealing. If any don't seal, put them in the fridge and eat soon.
We also dried plenty of apple slices. They make great portable treats for people and critters.
Pearl the Outback was pressed into service as a farm wagon yesterday for our feed store stock-up, since one of can't drive the trailer-pulling rig (stick-shift) and the other isn't recovered enough yet to drive one either. I love how much we can cram into this car!
Ryder is figuring out how to walk on a lead (he gets rewarded by going to fresh grazing) and he even came back from grazing loose and let me clip the lead on him while he had a nibble of grain. So far, so good!
Later this week, we'll be making more applesauce, starting 2 batches of homebrew (a winter warmer and an English bitter), canning one last batch of green beans, pears, pickling peppers, bringing in the onion crop, and many other exciting farm & garden chores!


Kathie said...

Yum! I'll be doing applesauce this weekend. I do core them before cooking, then run the apples with peels still on through a blender. We like it that way and it keeps the fiber and nutrition from the skin, though it does change the color a bit.

Mom said...

Wow!!! What a harvest! I have always cored the apples before running them through the sieve. Seems like there fewer of the seeds and little 'fingernails' as someone calls them.

Jannette said...

Looks delicious - hmmm, potato pancakes with apple sauce...
Ryder looks so well behaved, I miss him. His aquaintance is spurring the dream of a bigger place. I can blame you guys for that ;)

Carolyn said...

Applesauce is on my to do list this fall. Thanks for the lesson.


Country Girl said...

I just came acroos your blog. I like!! I plan to follow your step by step process to make some applesauce for a first time this fall.

Seven Trees said...

Good luck!

It's takes a little work to do the food mill part, but seeing that pan fill up with lovely applesauce is well worth it.

Let us know how it turns out!