Recipe: Chunky applesauce
Yes, this is a garden blog but we grow good stuff to eat, right? As I posted a few minutes ago, we’ve harvested all of our apples… some of which we’re using to make chunky applesauce.
My dear friend, Marie Cole (of Cole’s Orchard up on Green Bluff) shared this recipe with me last year and it works great. I like it a lot better than making the smoother kind of applesauce because it has some substance to it and tastes like you’re eating apple pie.
I should also mention that you need to be familiar with canning methods and use clean and safe techniques for the canning portion of this recipe. I’m a big wimp when it comes to canning vegetables because they’re so low in acid which makes them more prone to developing botulism — so I freeze them instead. But fruits are high in acid, so they are much safer to can.
Here’s the recipe:
Start with washed Cortland or Jonagold apples (we used close to a bushel of Jonagolds)
Use an apple peeler/corer/slicer tool (see top photo). This makes the work go very quickly. Place the peeled/cored/sliced apples into a large kettle (we use a 20-quart kettle).
Add about a quart of water to the kettle and place the pot over medium-high heat for about 45 to 60 minutes. While they’re cooking, take a long knife and make some rough cuts through the apples to break them up a bit.
Be careful about the cooking time because the apples cook quite quickly and you want them to be chunky. By stirring them every few minutes, you can keep an eye on how they’re coming along.
About 10 minutes before they’re done, add in 2/3 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon. Stir well so the sugar will dissolve and the cinnamon becomes well-incorporated into the mix.
In the meantime, wash and sterilize quart-size jars (the large-mouth jars work best) and bring a large water-bath canner to the boil.
Fill the canning jars with the applesauce, wipe the jar openings so they don’t have any residue on them, and cover with two-piece canning lids. When filling the jars, be sure to leave 1/2″ head space at the top since applesauce is thick and tends to expand a bit.
Place the jars into the water-bath canner and boil for 25 minutes. Remove them from the canner and wait for the jars to officially seal (I love that “ping!” sound because to me, it means “SUCCESS!”). If any haven’t sealed, remove the two-piece lids, clean off the jar opening and replace with fresh two-piece lids. Re-process as above, or put the jar in the fridge so you can eat the applesauce later.