Preserving: Applesauce

Canning used to be the only way the family farm could enjoy fruit and the flavors of summer during winter months. Farmers would share resources and can large quantities of apples, peaches, or anything they grew in abundance and could share with the neighbors. My Grandmother Tootie always had homemade applesauce around and she always liked to share. Below is our version of Tootie's applesauce recipe that we love to eat alone, spoon over ice-cream or serve on top of pork chops.  We rarely get to actually canning this recipe because it gets eaten up so quickly from the fridge.  

Our favorite apples for sauce are Cortlands, McIntosh and Gala apples. We toss in a one or two green Granny Smith for a hint of tartness.

Our favorite apples for sauce are Cortlands, McIntosh and Gala apples. We toss in a one or two green Granny Smith for a hint of tartness.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8-9 Sweet red Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Cut Into 8 Slices 
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Cut Into 8 Slices
  • 1 cup of Apple Cider
  • Juice Of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 cup  Light Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • Large pinch of Nutmeg & AllSpice 
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter 

Cooking Applesauce is extremely forgiving, just make sure to taste as you go. 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine all of above ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. At about medium heat this should take 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently because you do not want the apples to burn to the bottom of your pot. 

2. Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes or until the apple slices break down and become mushy. Continue to stir frequently, and use a potato masher occasionally to help break down the apples. If you want a super chunky apples sauce, stop here and toss sauce into jars, allowing to cool before you cover and refrigerate.

3. For a traditional smoother sauce we use an emulsion blender directly into the pot with the heat turned off to puree the sauce. Stand back because the sauce is extremely hot and willing to splatter. 

4. Transfer sauce to mason jars, allowing to cool before you cover and refrigerate. Unopened jars will last weeks in the fridge. 

Preserving: Raspberry Jam

Raspberry Jam, makes four cups. 

Raspberry Jam, makes four cups. 

Wam, bam, thank you jam!!

I recently had the distinct pleasure of joining Mrs. Rebecca Lunna at her lovely abode to participate in the wonder that is canning. AKA things Tootie & Dotes totally knew how to do ya know, no big deal... but in all honestly, it's something I still don't really understand how to do and totally should.

Eager to learn, mimosa ingredients in hand, I joined the canning crew for a lesson on a lovely Sunday morning.

Below is the recipe and process if you're following along at home.
 

CANNING SUPPLY LIST

  • Jelly jars, lids and rings
  • Water bath canner and rack. (21-qt. covered pot)
  • Funnel
  • Jar lifter or rubber tongs

INGREDIENTS   

  • 4 cups (1 liter) granulated sugar
  • 4 cups (1 liter) raspberries
     

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Sterilize the glass jars you plan to use before you get started by boiling them, do the same for the lids and the rims. Set aside to cool/dry.
  2. Combine ingredients in a saucepan, mix and bring to a boil, stirring and skimming foam off the top. If you have a thermometer you want the temp to reach 221 degrees for 5 minutes. Otherwise to check, put some mixture on a plate, let cool slightly and then drag your finger across it, if it gel's it's ready.
  3. Use wide mouth funnel to pour mixture into jars.
  4. Wipe jar tops before screwing on the lids.
  5. To seal for longer term storage, put the jars in a canning wire rack and submerge in boiling water for ten minutes. 
  6. Let jars cool 12 to 24 hours. Do not push down on the center of the flat metal lid until jar has cooled completely.
  7. Enjoy sound of canning jars pop! so you know they're sealed.

Quick & Easy Preserving, A story that ends in your Freezer

Or as my husband tried to put it the lazy kind of persevering.  How could making your own sauce from fruit you spent all morning picking be considered lazy? But really if you are canning solo, or for the first time stick to the freezer, if space allows. It's fast and easy and you can store the frozen jams for up to one year in your freezer or three weeks once thawed and in the refrigerator.


SUPPLY LIST
Four Le Parfait 7 Ounce Bail Closure Canning Jar 
Mixing bowls
Cutting board and Knife

 INGREDIENTS
Juice of one Lemon
3 Cups of crushed Strawberries (**measure after you've crushed them)
4 Cups of sugar 
1 (1.75 ounce) package dry pectin
3/4 cup water

DIRECTIONS
1. Mix crushed strawberries with lemon juice and sugar, and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Stir the pectin into the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 1 minute.
3. Stir the boiling water into the strawberries. Allow to stand for 3 minutes before pouring into jars or other storage containers.
4. Place tops on the containers, and leave for 24 hours. Place into freezer, and store frozen until ready to use.