Autumn has put me in a bit of a difficult position. I have an undeniable weakness for these...
But it's just John and I...
Oh, and the dogs... But they don't eat apples. As much as they would like to.
I have a weirdness about eating fruit off the core. I don't like the mess. So I knew that if we were gonna put all these bad boys to use, they would need a bit of work. These are prime apples so I didn't want to do too much. Just enough to highlight their great flavor, and celebrate the fact that Fall is here.
As far as applesauces go, this is a classic. It would go just as well atop a latke as it would in kiddo's lunch box. Spoon it into a muffin recipe in place of eggs, or eat it for breakfast with a sprinkling of granola. Or do what I do, and eat it by the spoonful, warm out of the pot. No worries, I won't tell anyone.
I took the extra step and canned mine, because I was getting a little itchy to bust out the mason jars. But it would hold up just fine in a tupperware in the fridge, if you don't want to mess with the boiling water and tongs. That said, if you are intimidated by the canning process, I really encourage you to give it a try. It's comforting to know that we'll be able to enjoy these gorgeous Fall apples months from now, long after the pretty yellow leaves are covered in snow.
Adapted from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff
Makes 5 half-pint jars
3 pounds of apples, peeled, cored, and cut into one-inch chunks
3 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
Put the apples in a 6-8 quart pot, and add 1 1/2 cups of water. Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples have broken down, about 30-40 minutes. Stir in the spices and salt, and transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender. Puree the apples, and return the puree to the cooking pot. Add the remaining water, bring the applesauce to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes.
Instructions for water bath canning
Bring a very large pot of water to a boil. This will be your canning pot. Wash the jars, and keep them hot in the canning pot, and put the flat lids in a heatproof bowl. Ladle boiling water from the canning pot into the bowl with the lids. Using a jar lifter (or a pair of tongs reinforced with rubber bands), remove the hot jars from the canning pot, carefully pouring the water from each one back into the pot, and place them upright on a folded towel. Drain the water off the jar lids.
Ladle the hot applesauce into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars, then put a flat lid and ring on each jar, adjusting the ring so that it's just finger-tight (meaning that the lid is just gently screwed on, not fully tightened). Return the jars to the water in the canning pot, making sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil, and boil for 15 minutes to process. Remove the jars to a folded towel and do not disturb for 12 hours. After 1 hour, check that the lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of each; if it can be pushed down, it hasn't sealed, and the jar should be refrigerated immediately. Label the sealed jars and store.