I am getting better at batch processing food for canning. There was a nice swing of chop-boil-mill going on yesterday Apples are on sale here so we went to our local produce market and stocked up with 37 pounds of galas, pink lady, braeburns, fujis, and honey crisps. I was going for 50 pounds, but stopped when the box they gave us was getting pretty full. Good thing too, my sink can’t hold any more!
I made a previous post detailing how I make applesauce and apple butter, so see that if you want instructions. I filled up the crock pot for butter, and jarred the rest. In all 37 pounds of apples produced a full crock pot (4 quarts of sauce -> 10 half-pints of butter) and 7 quarts of applesauce (a very full stock pot!). This is a good size because my crock pot was full, and my canner only holds 7 quart jars. Next time I have a weekend at home I can use a few sauce jars to make more butter. Hooray for fall!
Based on my previous few attempts I am producing 1 quart of sauce for just under 3 pounds of apples. 50 pounds would get me a full crock pot and two rounds of quart jars in my canner. That would be a full afternoon!
I did a batch of applesauce about a month back, but turned 100% of it into apple butter. In tasting some of the sauce, I realized how good just it is on its own. I plan to make some more apple butter with this batch, but first I want some sauce to can for myself.
The short version of making applesauce is this: core and chop apples, boil them till soft, and run that through a food mill. TADA, applesauce. Add cinnamon if desired. It is pretty darn good as is. Cook it down with a little cinnamon and sugar in a slow cooker for apple butter. More on that in another post. More detailed information can be found at Pick your own’s website. They have good information on canning in general.
Almost none of this requires special tools, per say, but they can help make the job a lot easier. The one tool that most people don’t have is a food mill. The food mill takes the boiled apples and smushes/separates the pulpy centers from the skin. The food mill I have is this model: Victorio VPK250. I highly recommend it. For the price it seems reasonably well built, and it can churn through some apples like nobody’s business. An apple cutter is cheap and makes processing the raw apples fast.
Enough talk, roll that saucy footage.
25lb of Pink Ladies
Chopping apples is quick with the cutter
This part smells amazing
Turn the crank, and out comes the sauce
Dry leftovers from the mill, and boiled apple water
Half went to the crock pot, half for canning
Oops, I printed my old apple butter labels!
The water the apples were boiled in smelled great. I thought it might be worth saving and drinking, but it had only a mild bland apple flavor. Maybe if I boil it down it will taste more intense. I should look up how to make apple cider.
Based on my past two runs of it seems to require about 1.5lb of apples to yield a pint (16oz) of applesauce. This 25lb run filled my crockpot for applebutter, with enough left over for 9 pints of applesauce. Seems how my canner can only hold 9 pints at a time, this worked out perfectly! Next time, apple butter!