Applesauce, applesauce

As you may have surmised from yesterday’s photo, the little tyke and I recently visited the apple orchard. We went to Cold Springs Orchard, a teaching, research and working orchard maintained by the University of Massachusetts, on a stunningly beautiful autumn day. We strolled through the rows of trees heavy with late fall fruit and then headed to the cider barn to pore over the tempting varieties.

I’ll let you visit the Cold Spring website yourselves to get a full idea of the range of apples available. We picked out some Honeycrisp, Winter Banana, Emerald and a few more for eating fresh, then picked up 2 peck bags of seconds for turning into applesauce.

All these apples should make about 16 pints of applesauce, but they would need to be done in about 4 batches due to the space chopped apples consume. And if each batch needed to simmer for HOURS, well, with a 2 month old to watch and hold I knew I needed a better plan.

Enter the pressure cooker! About 10 or 12 minutes to come up to pressure, 5 minutes at pressure, cool under cold water, and done!

You don’t need to peel or core the apples… just wash well, quarter, and throw them in the pressure cooker!

A nifty food mill

 After cooking the apples will be mushy and saucy. To remove the skins and cores I used a strainer, ladle, and a little elbow grease, but a food mill or similar item would make this job even easier…

I decided to freeze some of the applesauce in ice cube trays for later use as baby food. Makes it easy to grab just a few servings from the freezer.

Finally I wanted to can some of the applesauce since our freezer space is getting tight. Mostly from all of the peaches our tree produced this year (yum!).
The easy 15 minute waterbath canning process is very well spelled out over at Pick Your Own, so I won’t repeat that here, just leave you with a tantalizing photo of the finished product. And my helper.

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