I finally went apple picking. It was everything I had hoped it would be and MORE. Not only was the weather perfect, but the fruits of our labor were exceptionally sweet! I am fortunate to live by an awesome little place called “Weaver’s Orchard.”
Weaver’s boasts a beautiful orchard with over 30 varieties of apple. Not to mention the raspberries, pumpkins, blueberries and all of the other pick your own yummy treats. They also have a farmers market and lots of other fun, delicious things on site.
Ethan and I went on the perfect September day. I bought a 16lb bag and went to town. I got a few of as many kinds of apples as I could get. Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Sun Crisp and a few others. They looked quite pretty all piled up in my mom’s green fruit bowl.
After washing the apples in a warm water and vinegar mix in the sink, it was time to SAUCE!
8-12 apples peeled and chopped (I used a variety of apples)
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup Maple Syrup (YES! That is the secret!)
1/4 cup good honey
3-5 canning jars/lids
I like my apple sauce nice and spiced so that it tastes like apple pie. It even lends itself to be a bit closer to apple butter.
1. Peel and chop your apples. Add all ingredients to a crock pot set on high and stir.
Your house will smell AWESOME! This is great to do in the fall because it smells AH-MAZING.
2. Cook on high until the apples are completely mushy and soft- this takes about 6-8 hours depending on the apples you use and how many.
3. Using a blender or hand held blender, blend the apples until smooth, or your desired consistency. Some people like chunkier apple sauce- what ever floats your boat.
4. While blending, I started my boiling water for my jars/lids.
5. After blending I dumped the blended apples into a large pot on the stove and brought them up to a good boil. Be careful, it will pop and splatter and it is VERY HOT!!!! Homemade apple sauce is much darker than the stuff bought in the store. It is also darker because of the spices added.
6. This next step is a two-three person job that my mom and or dad usually help with so that it is done quickly before anything can cool! (Thanks guys!) Once jars and lids are brought to a boil in the water, pull them out and ladle in the hot sauce. As long as the jars, lids, and sauce are all nice and hot, you will not need to water bathe them again. It took about 3 ladles of sauce per jar. Set them aside on a towel with space in between so that the air can get in and cool them. Do NOT put them in the fridge they will crack and break. They must cool slowly. The tops should pop within an hour or two. If not, you may need to put the jar in boiling water for 5-10 minutes to heat everything back up to induce the sealing of the lid.
This batch made 3 pint jars and enough at the bottom of the pot for everyone in the family to have a spoonful. I have been trying to share my apple sauce, but it’s so hard when I want to keep it all for myself! I got two batches out of my 16lb bag from the orchard. I definitely plan on getting at least a 24lb bag next year. The two batches made 7 pints and 3 of the smaller sample size jars to share with friends.