Right now I’m caught between two desires with canning.
I really want to be doing new, exciting projects. I’m flooding my Pinterest feed with everything pickled or jammed that looks even remotely interesting. I want to be working on things that don’t taste like my normal projects.
Then reality hits and I remember that there are three items that we never have enough in the house: anything with tomatoes, dilly beans, and applesauce or other fruits that I can use to bulk up work meals. And we’re still early enough in the growing season in WNY that most stuff is still expensive, so I need to stick with staples before flying off into weird territory.
I do fully intend to make stuff like tomato butter this year. Just not quite yet. Soon, though, there’s starting to be local lettuce at Wegmans.
Apples are weird because there are times when ‘old’ apples are actually preferable. Storage apples are actually amazing for sauce and butters. That mealy quality that’s not so awesome for eating out of hand make them good for cooking down. So ironically, it’s actually now, when we’re halfway to the next apple sauce, that is one of the best time of the year to make applesauce.
Crispin Applesauce with Pumpkin Spice and Vanilla
Juice of one lemon
Cooking prep-set up a canner with pint jars. Applesauce is touchy, prep more jars than you think you need. Batch size varies a lot depending on water content and how long you cook down your sauce.
Fill a quart jar with water; set aside.
While your canner comes to a boil, core and chop the apples. I don’t peel mine.
Make sure to taste the apples at least once-how much honey you use will depend on how sweet your apples are.
Add to a large heavy bottomed pan, add a splash of water to keep from scorching. Bring to a simmer and let cook down. Use a potato masher every so often to smooth out the chunks. If it looks like your apples will scorch, continue to add water from the jar a splash at a time.
Nearing the end of cooking, add honey, lemon, vanilla, and pumpkin spice to taste. Use a light hand at first- you can reseason after it’s opened if you need to.
Pack jars to a 1/2 to 1 inch headspace (closer to an inch gives less potential for siphoning) and process pints for 15 minutes.