We have apples everywhere... Todd and I went to the apple orchard Saturday morning and picked tons of apples. We came home with over 50 pounds and 3 different varieties. This is less than half of them. Although its so fun to pick your own, those bags get heavy!
Although there will be lots of apple recipes coming up the first thing I did was make some homemade apple sauce. I love good old-fashioned, chunky, cinnamon apple sauce. Warmed up with a spoonful of whip cream or vanilla ice cream, it's like heaven in a bowl. So good. So Saturday I used about 20 pounds of apples and cooked and canned 6 quarts plus about another half a jar that I stuck in the fridge. I made it in 2 batches because I didnt have a big enough pan, so below is the recipe for half that amount.
Homemade Apple Sauce
(Makes about 3 quarts)
20 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chunked
3 T lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup water
Put chunked apples into a large stock pot with water, lemon zest and lemon juice over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. After about 10 minutes when apples are starting to break down, add cinnamon and sugar (the entire 1/4 cup might not be necessary depending on the sweetness of the apples). Cook about another 10 minutes and add ginger and nutmeg. Continue cooking until apples are cooked to the desired chunkiness. If you want a smooth sauce, you can blend in a food processor or strain the apple sauce.
To can the apple sauce, boil the jars and lids separately to sterilize. Transfer apple sauce to jars using a funnel, leaving 1/2" head space in each jar. Put on the lids and transfer to another stock pot of boiling water or pressure cooker. Make sure the water level is about 1" over the top of the jars. Place the jars on a rack or folded dish towel, not directly on the bottom of the pan. Process for about 20 minutes after the water comes to a gentle boil. Make sure each of the lids "pops" and doesnt spring back when you press down to ensure they are sealed.
If anyone has suggestions for what I should do with the other 30+ pounds of apples, please leave a comment. I have a few ideas but we have a LOT of apples.