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Homemade Applesauce

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On our way back from the Pumpkin Patch, we stopped at the Apple Barn. We had no idea this local treasure was so close to us! It smelled heavenly inside! They had a little cafe where you could get special apple treats made from their fresh-picked apples. I have been wanting to learn how to can from Ray's Granny for quite some time, especially before she isn't able to for one reason or another. In the past I had made applesauce when I was teaching kindergarten, so I figured we could make some at our house...why not make applesauce and can it to have for Jonah?!? We got 2 cases of apples. A little ambitious, but I had faith and we were excited!

Here's a photo journal/tutorial of our Homemade Applesauce Canning Adventure:
1) Wash the apples. We used Mutsu apples (suggested to us by the Apple Barn worker). They were really juicy and tasted great!

Ray's Granny's hands (I love this picture! Lori, I hope you see this...)
2) Peel, Core, and Slice the apples...Thank goodness for Pampered Chef's all-in-one contraption! It made things so much easier and faster!
3) Cover & Cook the apples on medium-high for 25 minutes or so...they should be soft. Stir occasionally so they don't stick! (You could also do this in a crockpot)
4) Since we wanted smooth, creamy applesauce for Jonah (he doesn't like chunky textures), we put the apples in the food processor. If you want chunky applesauce you can skip this step.
5)For the first batch, we added some cinnamon and sugar, but we decided we liked it plain after that. We added sugar to taste, but really it was very little sugar since our apples were naturally sweet!
6) We placed the applesauce in our heated jars following canning instructions provided by Granny.
7) Sealed them, put them in the water bath for 20 minutes, took them out and let them cool overnight.
You can see the difference between the batches with & without cinnamon here...
We also made apple pie filling and canned it. We had 2 jars that didn't seal properly, so we've already made apple crisp with them. YUMMY!
We ended up doing 2 canning days. The second day went much faster, since Ray and I had the basics down. I really felt super-domestic after we were done! We ended up with several boxes of quart jars full of applesauce. We will use this instead of buying applesauce for a while. Jonah loved it...and he's the critic that counted the most! He even says, "Mommy made this" when I put it on his plate....Here's to teaching him that a little hard work can reap wonderful rewards!

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