This morning, I canned up the crab apple sauce I started on last night.
It took about 2 hours to go through and cut up the crab apples in one bin – and that’s the one that had apples taken from it for the large batch crab apple cider vinegar, and a small bucket set aside for my mother.
Who has told me she doesn’t want any more apples. She had been appled out. So we still have another bin, plus the bucket!, to process.
The cut up apple pieces filled my giant stock pot to about 2/3 full.
A few cups of water was added to start the cooking process, and it was then boiled until mushy. Which took remarkably little time.
It stained my new giant wooden spoon pink! 😂
All the instructions I read said to peel and core the apples – which was not going to happen with such small apples! – unless you had a food mill to remove the skins and seeds later.
I don’t have a food mill.
I did recently acquire this…
I picked this up at a dollar store for a completely different purpose. I needed something finer than our colanders, but strong than our big sieve. This turned out to be perfect to use as a substitute food mill. I put in a couple of ladles of cooked pulp at a time, then used a silicon spoon/spatula to push it through, before scraping up the leavings and putting it into a bucket for the compost and moving on to the next batch.
I used our taller, normal sized stock pot for this, which conveniently has measurements marked on the inside.
The strained sauce was just shy of 6 quarts.
It was also very runny.
For the next step, the girls took over, in the early hours of the morning. They tasted it to see if it needed sugar, then cooked it down to thicken it a bit. I forgot to ask if they added sugar, but after tasting in myself, I don’t think they did. These crab apples are very sweet-tart on their own.
They cooked down the sauce by a couple of inches to make it thicker. That done, it was my turn again. I sterilized a dozen 500 ml (pint) jars, then canned up the sauce – a job that seemed to go much faster than I expected!
I could hear the lids popping on some of them, even as I removed them from the water bath!
When done, there was 10 jars of sauce, plus one that was about 3/4 full to go to the fridge, for eating right away. These just need to sit until tomorrow, then they’ll go back into the jar case and be ready for storage for the winter. 😊
I’m quite happy with how these turned out. Love that colour, too!
Now… what to do with the rest of the apples? This is more than enough apple sauce to last us; it’s not something we eat often.
I suppose I could just trim and freeze them for later.
On another note, with the season changing, I’ve asked the girls to switch back to “day shift”. There are things we need to do before winter that require an extra person. Which will mostly be my younger daughter, since my older daughter will have commissions to work on, but she will also be coming out to help as much as she can.
I expected to do more canning this year, but the garden just wasn’t productive enough for it – but more on that in my next post!