In order to preserve for future use the 30 pounds of apples acquired on our first apple-picking expedition, I chose to make applesauce. As with the apple pie filling, I used a mix of Stayman, Braeburn, and Empire. I used a recipe that called for 1.5 pounds of apples, 1 tbsp. of lemon juice, and 2 tbsp. of sugar per pint. I used about 1/3 cup of sugar for the whole batch, and mashed the cooked apples with a potato masher until uniformly chunky. Then 25 minutes in the hot water bath and I was done. The result was a bit tart, but very tasty. We’ve eaten two of the seven pints already!
We’re planning another trip to the farm, and I’m thinking I’ll make some applesauce mixes the next time. Maybe rhubarb (I have a lot of that diced in the freezer) or cranberry. I can’t find a cranberry applesauce recipe I like, but I’m thinking of just adding a cup of fresh cranberries to the whole batch and seeing how that works out. I’m also considering making apple chutney or something along those lines. We’ll see how many apples I end up needing to make something with. Regardless, the pints and half-pints are much easier to process, and I think I’ll stick with that size until I get a more authentic canning setup (I’m currently using a stockpot and a steamer tray).