Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Fall=Applesauce+ode to Grandma
Apples are one of my favorite foods. Throughout the year I like to dip them in peanut butter, honey, or enjoy them plain. I love the crisp sound that comes from biting into a big juicy apple. And I love making applesauce. This is one of the many activities that reminds me of my Grandma. I loved my Grandma like no other, and am always happy to bring back her memory at any opportunity. Every year she would make a ton of applesauce and share it with everyone in the family. Like me, my Grandma loved food, she loved preparing food, and she loved extending food as a gift to others. I am always grateful that she passed this passion onto me.
Applesauce is one of those things that takes hardly any talent, but it does take time. This year I tried a new method of prepping my apples. Instead of hauling out the slicer/peeler/corer, I simply washed them, cut them into chunks and put them into a huge pot. I later pulled out the skins with tongs. I had a hard time getting all of the skin out so I am not sure that the saved time was worthwhile, I will decide when I crack open the first jar.
I also never bother with smoothing out my applesauce by putting it in a food mill or blender. I like my food chunky, and Grandma's applesauce was always chunky, so I wouldn't change it!
You don't,as far as I know, have to add any extra sugar to apples to make them safe for canning. I like my applesauce less sweet, so after a few recipe references, I decided to try seasoning my sauce with honey and cinnamon this year. I really like the way it turned out. The honey adds a nice mild sweetness, and it still tastes closer to unsweetened than sweetened. Tim insisted on the addition of cinnamon, which is fine by me. The key is using a mixture of apples-I used Jonathans and Fujis-that are not too tart. Then, once the apples are cooked down into a sauce, taste it and see what you want to add. Go with your gut on this one, the fun is in the experimentation.
If you have never made applesauce before I would consult the Ball website http://www.freshpreserving.com/ for a tested recipe. This is a good way to make sure that what you are canning is safe. I did consult their website last night, just to make sure that I was on the right track.
I am excited for Fall to be here, I am sick of hot weather. I am enjoying the memory of my Grandma today as I still have the canning supplies out from last night. I am hoping to make more applesauce before the season is over.
Posted by Shawna at 8:20 AM