Applesauce

I’ve been doing a fair amount of canning since I first dipped my toes into the boiling water bath last year.  I jumped on this bandwagon too late in 2010 to hit apple season.  So there’s been this little voice in my head all year since then reminding me not to miss out on the fresh, local apples.  And then of course, life gets turned upside down, the calendar fills with all sorts of dates and appointments, and before I know it the glorious days of fall apples are coming to an end.  All before I’ve even cooked up a single batch of applesauce.

There would be no pick your own apples for me.  I had missed them by weeks.  Instead, I was left picking through the last of the season’s offerings that were rescued from the orchard before Mother Nature told the apple trees that it was time to rest for a while.

They weren’t the prettiest of apples.  But since my plan of attack included a long, low cook in the crock pot followed by a quick dip in the canner, I didn’t much care what they looked like.  I just wanted to transform those late bloomers into applesauce.

When I’m canning, my stove is a three ring circus.  I’ve got the 16 quart stock pot on one burner.  I’m gently warming lids and rings on another.  A third burner is usually occupied by the dutch oven of hot preserves.  And I cram a fourth pot on the last burner to warm the empty jars.  It is always a struggle to get everything to fit.

When I’m feeling especially savvy, and what it’s not in use, I put the rings and lids in my crock pot, fill it with water, and set it to high in order to free up a burner.  But I never had a way to keep all of my jars warmed and ready to be filled and processed.  The pot that sort of fits the back burner can never keep more than three jars warm at a time.

While I was launching Operation Applesauce, I got to thinking that maybe I could use the Advantium to alleviate the crowding on the stove and keep all of my waiting jars warm.  So I gave it a shot.  I installed the wire shelf and placed the metal tray in the bottom of the unit.  I placed the washed jars upside down on a wire rack set inside a sheet pan and carefully set it on the wire shelf.  Then I scrolled through the Cooking Options menu, selected Warm (Moist), and hoped for the best.

Let me tell you, seeing all my jars lined up inside the Advantium was a thing of beauty.  It kept the empty jars perfectly warm….not so hot that I couldn’t grab them with my bare hand but warm enough to prevent thermal shock in the canner.  And unlike my old way of having a burner going the whole time to warm jars in a small pot of water, I didn’t have to run the Advantium the entire time I was canning.  That thing holds onto some heat.  So I’d run it for twenty or thirty minutes then turn it off until I could tell that the jars were cooling off.  Then I’d put it back onto Warm.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.  Never in a million years would I have thought that I’d find a way to use the Advantium to make my home canning easier. And yet, it was the perfect solution for my need.

Applesauce

Adapted from Sugarcrafter

BAH Note: I fancied my applesauce up with some of that lovely cardamom spiced sugar.  It gave the finished applesauce a depth and sophistication that you just can’t get from the grocery store.

  • 6 pounds apples (pick the ones that you like best)
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups sugar (optional)

Peel, core, and roughly chop the apples.  Some I cut into quarters, others I only cut in half.  They’re going to cook down in the crock pot so don’t stress over this step.

Place the apples, cinnamon stick, and cider into the crock pot, cover, and cook on low approximately 8 to 10 hours.  I let mine go overnight.  Use a wooden spoon to smash the softened apples into sauce.  Turn the crock pot to high and cook, uncovered, until the applesauce has thickened to the consistency you want.  Add the lemon juice and any sugar (if using) and stir to combine.  Turn off the crock pot but replace the cover to keep the applesauce warm.

Ladle the jam into heated jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space, and process for 20 minutes.  Let the jars cool for 24 hours before checking the seal and storing the jars. Any jars that have not sealed should be refrigerated or immediately reprocessed using new lids.

{printable recipe}

Disclaimer:  As part of my partnership with GE, I received an Advantium oven.  All opinions posted about my Advantium experience are my own.

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11 Responses to Applesauce

  1. Lan says:

    you are my jarring queen! personally, i can only handle so much applesauce but the process of making it? sigh. the smells in the house is so perfectly Autumn, warm & inviting.

    • Wendi says:

      Lan, transforming apples into awesomesauce (as Beth called it this morning) is glorious. And the beauty of canning it is that I can savor the fruits of my labor long after the work is done.

      ________________________________

  2. Yinzerella says:

    Ain’t you crafty?

  3. Jenna says:

    Wow. After trying canning once myself and experiencing the chaos that ensued (and less-than-pleasing results), I’m amazed by people who regularly do it. Way to be awesome!

    • Wendi says:

      Jenna, I beseech you to give it another try. I don’t know what your prior recipe was but something like this awesomesauce would be a great way to get your feet wet…and maybe spark a new obsession.

      ________________________________

  4. AWESOMESAUCE!

    I always warm my jars in my canner while it comes to temperature.

    • Wendi says:

      It is AWESOMESAUCE! I tried using the canner to warm the jars but I am clumsy and always struggled to get them back out. I bet a crockpot with some water would work too.

      ________________________________

  5. Tracy says:

    Oooh, I love your idea to add cardamom-spiced sugar! Brilliant!

    • Wendi says:

      Tracy, you know how insanely delicious that cardamom sugar is (you did get that in your BSP goodie bag two years ago, right?). That’s what makes this #awesomesauce (as I will officially call all future batches of this recipe).

      ________________________________

  6. Pingback: Advantium Wrap Up | Bon Appetit Hon

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