This morning, we helped a family make their year supply of applesauce. They had already purchased a bin of apples so all we had to do was wash, slice, boil, strain ladle and can them ... right? I know it sounds like quite the process, but with over twenty people working together, it doesn't take all that long ... and it's double the fun.
First Step: Wash the Apples
The orchards try to not spray pesticide and herbicide while the apples are bearing, but of course there's no way of knowing. so we dunk them a few times in water before bringing them in to be cut.
The team we had for the washing had the biggest job because they kept everyone else working, but they all did a great job.
Second Step: Cut the apples in fourths or sixths
I was a member of this team for most of the day. I enjoyed it because, as long as the washers supplied us with apples (which they did well) there was always something to do. I'm that way when I work, when I get in the groove then I don't want to be stopped until it's over.
Here we cut the apples into fourths (or sixths if they're huge), wash them again and then pile the slices into pots. Our team got so ahead that we had to fill buckets and then when we ran out of buckets we filled tubs.
Apple Slices -- Enough to feed an army
Third Step: Boil the Apples
I don't think there actually is a set boiling-time. We just keep them simmering until the apples are mushy. The more mushy the thinner the applesauce, so it's up to you. This is the step that slowed us down the most, even though we had seven different pots going at one.
Fourth Step: Strain the Apples
We use a Victoria strainer for this step. We had two going at once even though we had four available because that's all we needed to keep up with the pots.
Fifth Step: Ladle it Into the Jars
We froze a few quarts of it, for applesauce slushies, and then canned the rest. We added sugar at this point, but that's an optional step of course.
Sixth (& Last) Step: Cann the Applesauce
Altogether we made 270 quarts of sauce AND it only took four hours (not counting the hour break or lunch ... but still.) Applesause is easy to cann becuase it's just a hot water bath and can be oen with a pot or boiler rather than a pressure cooker.
We didn't just make applesauce today either! We peeled, cored, sliced, and sweetened twelve bags of pie apples. I did a post about freezing pie apples a couple years ago.
Whenever there was a lull in any of the stations we would just head to the kitchen to help the pie-apple team. It was a good system.
Me and my good friend - we share the same name :)
We saved out a few apples to peel, core and shred for an old fashioned apple pudding that we had for lunch. The cutting team was put in charge of those. It was great to just leave the last pot to boil while we sat down to a good lunch.
How i love a good morning of work with friends followed by a good meal.
And since the apple bin was empty, a couple of the children decided to turn it into a miniature diner of sorts where they ate their lunch and relaxed after a good morning of work. I love being a part of a happy, hardworking team like this and getting a load done.
What could be better?