It’s that time of year again, time to make applesauce. With both Isaac and I both eating applesauce, we ran out of sauce early this summer. Even Isaac turned his nose up at store bought applesauce.
So this year I decided to make twice as much sauce as last year. The combinations of apples I have used previously have cooked sweeter than I like. To prevent that, I spent some time researching apple types online before going shopping. The internet suggested MacIntosh was a good tart sauce apple. I decided to get equal amounts of Cortland and MacIntosh and then a mix of whatever other apples the farm store had.
The store was packed. It was a brilliant fall day. People were selecting pumpkins. They had a big cooker barbecuing chickens and cider donuts fresh from the oven. I was practically crushed standing next to the apples googling each variety. None of the A grade apples particularly sparked my interest. However, there was a good selection of B grade apples. I tried to pick varieties the internet said had more flavor. I didn’t want to repeat the bland applesauce from the Galas. In the end I chose
- 1/2 bushel Cortland
- 1/2 bushel MacIntosh
- 1/2 bushel Macoun
- 1/2 bushel Mutzu
Diane and Ian came over for part of the afternoon to help. The whole process is pipelined:
- wash the apples
- cut the apples
- cook them in a pot, stirring frequently to prevent burning
- press the apples in the Squeezo
- fill jars with apple sauce and can them
I can almost keep up with the whole pipeline myself, but having help makes it a lot less hectic. They stayed until the first batch came out of the canner. The flavor came out much better. It had a hint of tartness and a slightly nuanced flavor. I was slightly disappointed that the Cortland flavor was entirely masked. Cortlands have been my signature for so many years.
This is the first time I have had jars crack in the canning process, and I had two crack. I preheated the jars by running them on the sanitize cycle in the dishwasher. They did cool off on the counter before I filled them with applesauce. So I was heat stressing them when I put the jars in the boiling water canner. However, that’s what I have done other years. Maybe just too many heat cycles from 10 years of use? To be safe, I kept the rest of the jars warm in the boiling water while waiting for the applesauce to be ready.
I fell behind twice and had to pause the apples cooking on the stove. And the last batch, I was falling asleep and slowed down significantly. But I got it all done just before midnight. 32 quarts of tasty applesauce.