A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Applesauce

October 17, 2015
Emilie Phillips

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.

Apples on a fall day

Apples on a fall day

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
Ian and Isaac pressing apples

Ian and Isaac pressing apples

Diane and Ian came over for part of the afternoon to help. The whole process is pipelined:

  1. wash the apples
  2. cut the apples
  3. cook them in a pot, stirring frequently to prevent burning
  4. press the apples in the Squeezo
  5. 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.

Steam from the canning pot

Steam from the canning pot

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.