Wednesday, October 01, 2008

VeganMoFo: Applesauce

Who you callin' a MoFo!?
It's just VeganMoFo : Vegan Month of Food - during which I, and bajillions of other vegan bloggers attempt to blog every single day for a month. The complete list of all participants can be found here. I don't even think prisoners with nothing to do and 24-hour internet access could keep up with daily posts on that many blogs... but I'm gonna do my part to do some interesting posts for you all!

We have a lovely little apple tree, out behind our garage. I don't know what kind of apples they are, because the tree was already there when we bought out house. Whatever kind they are, they are totally delicious - great for eating, baking, and ... applesauce! Every year I bring out my inner homesteader, and end up making a few batches of applesauce. I make pies and eat some raw, but the applesauce is such an easy way to preserve the apples for the rest of the year. This box is our first harvest of the season... many more to come I'm sure.

Next stop, bring the apples inside and clean them up. Cut, core, peel. Unfortunately, I am not the only one who thinks these apples are delicious. Our apples are FULL of critters: worms, bugs, pill bugs... it's a very non-vegan task to cut through all these apples, and remove the buggies before eating them or cooking them. Over the years, I have tried so many different methods to reduce the bugs, all without any difference. Our neighbors two doors down have an apple tree with no bugs at all. Grrrr.

If you are interested in doing this at home, now is the time to get your jars and lids all cleaned and boiling in a giant pot on the stove. That way they'll be ready when you need them.

See here, my kitchen trash full of apple peels, cores, and buggy bits.

Fill a big (7 quart) pot with your clean apple chunks, about 3/4 + to the top. Add a little water. I add about 3/4" water to the pot (with the apples already in). Use your finger or a wooden skewer to make sure you haven't added too much water.

Turn up the heat to high, and stir occasionally until the apples are soft and some of them are starting to fall apart. This takes a while.

I like chunky applesauce, so I don't bother with a food mill. If you're a more elegant person, you can feel free to use a food mill at this point. As for me, I grab the potato masher and mash the heck out of my apples. Mash, mash mash. Until you've got applesauce! At this point, if you'd like, add some extra zing. I add about 3 Tablespoons of maple sugar and a scant 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir it well.

Bring it to a boil, which makes "big messy bubbles" (that's what my recipe says!). Turn down the heat, simmer & stir for about 5 minutes.

Carefully remove your clean jars and lids from the boiling water and fill them with applesauce and lid them tightly shut. If you have a canning funnel, you will be especially psyched. My friend JJTWH got me one, and I can't imagine how I ever did canning without it. What a difference!

Place the filled jars back into the boiling water and process (aka boil) for 20 minutes.

Carefully remove them from the pot and set them aside to cool. Ouila! Applesauce!!

It's a bit of a project, but it's a lovely way to spend an autumny day. Plus, it erases any guilt about possible apple-wasting (bad!), and makes me feel very industrious. Try it, you'll like it!


  1. I seriously need to get into the canning. My parents used to can our modest harvest from the garden and also make sauces and syrups. You would think I'd carry on with this super useful skill.

  2. I've wanted to try canning for so long! Every year I come up with excuses. I MUST learn to do this...although, hearing about the wormy apples does deter me a bit. You are a brave soul! ;-)

    Happy MoFo, Amey!

  3. Oh, it's the cutting and the peeling. I can't seem to get past all that work! I can do maybe 4 or 5 apples at a time; Just enough for applesauce cake with fresh applesauce! You are a hardy homesteader!

  4. Hooray for MoFo!! :0)

    Sooo lucky to have an apple tree!! Love the homemade applesauce.

  5. Wow, so you not only can your own applesauce, but the apples come from your own backyard!! After seeing this I am really in the mood to do some canning of my own!! Way to kick off vegan mofo!

  6. Now I'm dying to go apple picking! Making applesauce is so easy, and so rewarding!

  7. I just made a small batch of applesauce, but you really went all out! I hope to get some local apples from the farmers market this weekend. Too bad there will never be any fruit in my backyard :(

  8. Great apples - and canning too - so lucky to have your own apple tree.

  9. happy veganmofo, amey!!

    your apple sauce looks so yummy- and thank you for the canning instructions. this makes me miss NY and apple picking, which I would be doing loads of right now! once we made a batch of apple sauce in the crock pot with good intentions of canning or freezing it, but little by little, we ate it until it was gone less than 2 days later! whoops.

  10. hoooooray for VeganMofo, Amey! yay!

    thanks sooo much for the canning instructions. my friend & i are going apple picking this saturday and i can't wait to make my own applesauce and can some, too! wahooooooooooooo! thanks again! and i look forward to more of your awesome Mofo posts! w00t! :D

  11. I'm soooooooooooo green with envy at your having an apple tree where you live! we don't even live close enough to go do some apple picking here in this ugly town, ugh.

  12. I'm with you - I love chunky applesauce!

    It must have taken a ton of time to clean up those apples, but you did a tremendous job!

  13. hey amey!
    me and you both on the bug thing. your applesauce looks delicious. i like unsweetened myself, but chunky would be excellent.


  14. yumm! applesauce! i don't think i have the patience though. haha :D lucky you who do have the patience!

  15. the vegan foodie12:59 PM

    I gotta start canning!! Your apple sauce looks awesome. I have to try to make this!

  16. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Hi Bloggers--JJTWH here. FYI the canning funnel came from a very unlikely source: Lee Valley garden tools. If you're a gardener you need to know about Lee Valley anyway! Happy canning.,2120,33279

  17. I will always be jealous of your apple tree.


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