The Monday before Veteran’s Day, Mr. MDP was home. The Little Pioneers and I always have difficulty concentrating on school when he is here, so I decided that we all get a four day weekend. So, with the first sleet/snow of the season and the wood stove fired up, I thought it would be good to get the last of the apples sauced and canned.
These are end-of-season apples, so they are a bit bug-eaten and bruised (read organic!). However, even a 50% loss is 50% I didn’t have for sauce before! (Thank you, C!) So, once Mini Pioneer went to sleep, I sent the big kids outside to play in the sleet and got to work. Mr. MDP was working on the water heater at the time so, in true “use what you have” fashion, I heated water on the wood stove to wash and cook the apples.
I do not add sugar or spices to my applesauce, so I didn’t measure the apples. I just dove in.
First, I cleaned and quartered the apples, throwing the good parts directly into my monster stock pot. I covered them with water and cooked them. Once they were soft, I pulled them off to cool a bit. I put the canner on to boil.
When the apples are cool enough to handle, I run them through the Foley Food Mill to remove the skins, seeds and cores. Once I have a few quarts mushed, I am ready to put them into jars. At this point I have hot water back! I throw some lunch at the family and sterilize my jars. Having the jars heated before processing, helps prevent them from cracking or bursting in the canner. I also sterilize the lids and rings in boiling water.
Now, I start filling the hot jars with the hot applesauce, wiping the rim of the jar after it is filled before I put on the lids. Then I place the jars in the almost boiling canner. At my elevation, I process applesauce quarts for 25 minutes. Lest you think I have this process completely memorized with astonishing brain power, I always refer to Carla Emery’s “Encyclopedia of Country Living” before I start.
Ultimately, all 9 quarts sealed and no breaks. (You can hear the metal lids seal with a “pop”. Happy noise!)