What a great year for apples. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen so many on the trees. In fact, I think I see apples on trees this year that haven’t had them before.
One good use of all these wild apples is to make apple sauce. It’s nice because you can can it or put it in freezer bags and store it in the freezer for long term use.
The first thing you have to do is pick your apples. We take the ones off the ground before picking them off the tree. Why? We do it because we believe nature knows what it is doing. Most of the ones one the ground are ‘ready.’ We will pick off the tree as well if we don’t get enough off the ground.
The next step is to make sure you wash the apples. This is an important step if you have picked apples off the ground.
Animals such as deer also like eating apples that have fallen, and believe it or not, you can get E. Coli from apples that have fallen on or near feces of wild animals. Make sure you wash those apples!
After I wash the apples I put them in a big stock pot, or I sometimes put them in my crock pot if my stock pot is in use. I put a few glasses of water in the bottom and cook them on low heat to soften them up. I don’t bother removing the cores or skins because I have equipment to remove the cores and skins. If you don’t, you’ll have to take the time to remove the skins and cores before this step.
After the apples are soft, I get out my kitchen aid. I love the hecking poop out of my kitchen aid. It is one of my most valuable tools in my kitchen. Farmer Jim one bought for me back when we were still dating. Since then, he’s upgraded me to a bigger one. I use it almost daily. I’ll say one thing about it though, if the electricity goes out, I can’t use it. Our electric doesn’t go out that often, but it is nice to have mechanical, non-electric tools as back up.
After I removed the skins & cores, I reheat the applesauce on the stove. I add 2 Tbsp of cinnamon and 2 cups of sugar per every gallon of applesauce I make. The sugar and cinnamon are completely optional!
After I reheat the applesauce on the stove, I put it into quart size canning jars and process it in a water bath for at least 25 minutes. You can check on the processing time you need at this link.
Alternatively, you can put the applesauce in freezer bags and freeze it.