Friday, November 25, 2011
It's the day after Thanksgiving, and everyone's thoughts have now turned to leftovers. Well, that and holiday shopping, of course. But food is my focus, most of the time, and now that it's late November, we've got lots of leftover turkey and stuffing and whatnot to deal with... not to mention the remnants of the fall harvest.
Did anyone else buy waaaaay too many apples this fall? *raises hand* Yes, definitely. But fret not, 'cause those leftovers can be turned into something yummy, too, no matter how bad they're starting to look -- not rotten, mind you, but the bruised ones are just fine here, the ugly ones, the ones that look like they really need to be used up right now, today, before it's too late, before they go bad.
Applesauce is the perfect fix for this situation. It's delicious, it's really simple to make, and you can can it, which means that you can taste September even in January or May.
Loosely adapted from "The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving"
Apples, peeled and cut up, enough to fill a large saucepan (this will depend on the size of your apples, obviously)
Water, just a splash
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 c sugar (but feel free to use a lot less if you're using sweeter apples -- I only used 2/3 c or so in mine)
1. Splash a little bit of water into the pan containing the cut-up apples. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn down the heat and boil gently for 5 to 20 minutes, until the apples are tender.
2. Mash up the apples with a potato masher until of the right consistency (if you like it chunky, leave chunks; if you like it super-smooth, hit it with a stick blender or put it through a food mill).
3. Add the lemon juice and sugar and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.
4. Pour into sterilized canning jars, leaving a half-inch of headspace. Add lids and rings, screwed on fingertip-tight.
5. Process jars in a large, covered pot of boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove the pot's lid and wait 5 minutes, then remove the jars of applesauce and place them somewhere out of the way to cool, making sure not to tilt them.