Monday, July 6, 2009

My First Canning Attempt

I did what I said I was going to do! I made canned applesauce! I went to the store and bought 10 lbs of Golden Delicious apples. I wasn't really too sure which to pick, so I just bought my favorite ones. RNH suggested Granny Smith- but I actually did some research and found that making applesauce with Granny Smith means adding a lot of sugar at the end. I didn't want to worry about that.

I brought the apples home, washed and cored them.

Then I put them into a huge pot with a 1/2 cup of water. Covered and let it simmer until the apples were soft. I was scared of the apples burning at first, since it only adds about a 1/2 inch of water to the pot. I was surprised when instead, the apples just cooked themselves, and a few even slid off the peel!
Then I put them in the food mill. This was my first time using the food mill. My mother had given it to us and RNH had used it last year to make wine. He didn't know what he was doing, because when I asked him how it worked, he told me the darn thing was broken. Turns out I figured out the way your supposed to use it- scrape, mash and repeat. It wasn't that hard. But I was really upset (almost cried- YES I'm PMS-ing!!!) when I thought the darn thing was broken. Mainly because I had spent money at the store, had hot mushy apples, and didn't want to waste it all. So once I figured out how the darn thing works, I got to work. And got a work-out!!! It was a lot of apples and 10 lbs made a decent amount of sauce- 5 pints. Not as much as I thought it would make, but that's okay. Next year if the apples go on sale or I can get them cheap from a local farm, I'm going to do it!

After pushing the mush through the food mill, I added spices and brought the sauce to a boil. (I actually was putting a little bit of ground cloves in without the spice jar lid on, and dropped a TON in the sauce... good thing I like cloves!) I also added cinnamon and a tad bit of sugar to taste.

Once it was done, I packed the yumminess into jars that I had sitting in hot water in the sink. I filled them up, leaving a 1/2 inch of headspace and screwed on the lids. I put all wimpy 5 pints into the pressure cooker and they cooked for 5 minutes!!! I was surprised how little time it took!

Now the jars are sitting on the counter and I'm enjoying hearing the "ping" that everyone always talks about! Oh- and I'm completely covered in apple mush! Its all the way up my arms!!!

I also picked a few beans and am working on blanching those right now. I might raw pack them later.

I can't wait to open a jar of applesauce around the Thanksgiving dinner table and remember all of the hard work I put in! I am really hoping to be able to find a great recipe, or come up with something on my own, that people love, and be able to give it to them as gifts one year.

Also- I'm using my great-grandmother's jars. Some are hers, and some were my grandmas, and some are my moms! Here are a few pics!


  1. You are just like granny miller. I want to try some of your homemade applesauce.

  2. Thanks, I take that as a very high compliment!!! I just hope to be able to use my garden the same way she does!!!