Friday, October 16, 2009

How About Them Apples? - Part II

We left off my journey to learning how to make my own applesauce, apple butter, and can it with a picture of all of the apples (~53 pounds) that we got at Carter Mountain Orchard on Saturday. (I really laugh out loud when I look at this picture of Natalie.)

We came home with a half-bushel of Fuji apples, about 6 pounds of Red Delicious, the 2 large bowls of Golden Delicious, and the Granny Smith loose on the counter. I cut up all of the apples by hand, except the Granny Smith to cook for applesauce.
This is about how much applesauce I ended up with. I lost some to "quality control" tasters. The apples in the bowl are the Granny Smith I still had left over after making apple crisp for dessert. I did finish using them by making a big dish of baked apples for our "breakfast cook out" at church Wednesday night.

I used about 7&1/2 quarts of applesauce to make the apple butter. My finished product - 12 half-pints of apple butter, 2 pints of apple butter, 1 pint of applesauce, and 6 quarts of applesauce. I have a little bit of apple butter that wasn't enough to can in the fridge. I also baked 15 mini loaves of Cinnamon Pecan Amish Friendship Bread and 2 loaves of bread tonight. I wish we had smell-o-vision. The warm fresh bread and my homemade apple butter tasted soooooo good.

I really am proud of my accomplishment. I was able (with research and guidance) to successfully figure out how to make and preserve my own applesauce and apple butter. I do owe a huge debt of gratitude to my pastor's wife who was so sweet to come over and bring me a dozen quart jars and lend me one of her large pots and her steam canner. She explained to me that it would be much easier and faster than using the water bath like I had planned to do. I never did try the water bath. I figured she knew what she was talking about because she has lots of experience with canning.

I was trying to figure out if it is really less expensive to make my own applesauce and apple butter than to buy store bought. I had to invest in a few things to get started, but they are things I can use for multiple things. The biggest splurge I had was purchasing the KitchenAid attachments. I didn't realize that most stores don't carry all of the attachments. If I had realized that I probably would have ordered it on-line for less. I did find what I needed plus an additional attachment in a set at Sur La Table. But, I now have a food grinder, a fruit & vegetable strainer, and a roto chopper. I also had to buy some supplies for canning, I bought a few jars - I found them on clearance and I was able to use a coupon for them so they were pretty cheap. I also purchased a water bath canner that I may return since I didn't use it (or keep it to make a huge pot of chili). I also purchased a set that included a funnel, a magnetic lid lifter, and a jar grabber. They were very useful. But all of these are things that I can continue to use when I want to can more fruits and maybe vegetables. So is it less expensive? - maybe. Does it taste better? - ABSOLUTELY!


Marian said...

That's alot of apples!!!

Judi B said...

Apples are starting to come in! Can you share your apple butter recipe with me and any tips or tricks you learned in the process? Thanks!

Ann said...

Judi - This is the recipe/instructions that I used for the apple butter.

Since it has been almost a year I do remember that it took longer for mine to cook down than her directions said, but that could have been because of my crockpot. I also used chopsticks to vent the lid of the crockpot so the steam could escape. I did also want a smoother texture and I used my food processor, because I the hand blender I had had for years had died on me.

Good luck - it turned out really yummy!