A Food Mill. This makes perfectly smooth applesauce. I had been eyeing one of these for some time to use in canning tomato sauce.
Although I ordered both of these some time before our trip to the orchard, they have not arrived yet. Amazon's Super Saver shipping may be free, but quick it ain't.
What else was I to do but find recipes that did not require either of those two useful gizmos?
I broke out my favorite canning book, Blue Ribbon Preserves by Linda J. Amendt, and made a batch of Apple Preserves. Holy glycemic index, Batman! There are 5 cups of sugar in this recipe.
They are very tasty, though I would reduce the amount of nutmeg the next time I make it.
The other recipe I made was Chunky Family-Style Applesauce. Since you are aiming for a chunky texture, it doesn't matter if you lack a food mill.
When I tried it, it tasted like biting into a perfectly ripe, tart apple. Delish! I used fresh apple cider in both of these recipes which I think enhanced the end result.
I have 7 half-pints of Apple Preserves and 7 quarts and a pint of Chunky Applesauce to show for my efforts. I have enough apples left for one more batch of something. I'm thinking about making Apple Butter.
Wherever you live, I encourage you to preserve fall's bounty so that you can enjoy it this winter. I'm going to make another trip to the apple orchard soon, so I'm going to be busy for a while.
Makes about 6 half-pint jars (Emily's note: It made 7 for me.)
7 c. cored, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick tart apples
1 c. apple juice (I used cider.)
2 T. strained fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. unsalted butter
5 c. sugar
1-3 oz. pouch liquid pectin
1 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cinnamon (I am going to add less nutmeg and more cinnamon next time.)
In an 8-qt pan, combine the apples, apple juice, lemon juice and butter. Over medium heat, bring the apple mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the apples are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the cover and add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, stirring gently between each addition. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the entire contents of the pectin pouch. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam. Gently stir in the spices.
To prevent floating fruit, allow the preserves to cool 5 minutes before filling jars. Gently stir the preserves to distribute the fruit then fill the jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Process half-pints in a 200 degree water bath for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.
Chunky Family-Style Applesauce
Makes about 4 pint jars or 2 quart jars (It made 2 quarts and nearly a pint for me.)
7 lb unblemished firm apples
2 c apple juice or water (I used cider.)
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
2 T strained fresh lemon juice
Core, peel, and chop the apples.
In an 8-qt pan, combine the apple juice or water and 1 c. of the sugar. Over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the apples.
Over medium-high heat, bring the fruit micture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and boil gently until the apples are soft and translucent, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove the pan from the heat.
Using a potato masher or the back of a large spoon, gently crush the apples to the desired texture. Stir in the remaining sugar to taste and add the lemon juice.
Over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Ladle the sauce into hot jars, filling the jars about 1/3 full. Using a plastic spoon, press out any trapped air bubbles. Fill jars 2/3 full and repeat. Fill the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch headspace. Using a plastic knife or bubble freer, remove any remaining trapped air bubbles. Process both pint and quart jars in a 200 degree water bath for 20 minutes.