Applesauce 2013

Applesauce

I love to make applesauce.

I was disappointed that our trees didn’t produce apples last year and I was also thankful because I had a baby and three other children.

This spring when our trees were loaded with apple blossoms I was jumping with joy. When the apples started appearing I didn’t thin the tiny apples so that I would have bigger apples (directions on thinning click here), I wanted as many apples as possible.

I picked apples off the ground every day.    The really bad apples went to the chickens and a few went to the horse.  I would guess that I gave the chickens about five 5 gallon buckets of apples throughout the fall.  We ate a lot (and are still eating) and the rest I stored in our garage until I was ready to make applesauce.

apples in garage 2013

I use a steamer/juicer called Mehu-Maija, it is a Finnish utensil.  I first learned of this amazing system from my mother-in-law who is 100% Finnish.

apples in Mehu Maija

I am fortunate to own two Mehu-Maijas.  I love them.  In my opinion, if you make applesauce, wine, or jellies this is a necessary tool!  Every time I have loaned one of mine to a friend they have ended up buying one (three friends).  I have raved about my system to other friends and two have ended up buying one.

Mehu-Maija 2013

My apples produce a beautiful pink applesauce.

apple sauce in progress 2013

My applesauce and juice in 2013:

36 quarts and 19 pints of applesauce

12 quarts of apple juice

applesauce & juice 2013

I shared a bunch of apples with friends.  They shared some with their friends and made all this:

   Christie's

Emily's

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Week 40 – October 1 – 7, 2012

Week 40 – October 1 – 7, 2012

(completed on 12/14/12)

After school the boys would stop at the apple tree to eat.  Today I caught them using some teamwork to get their apples.

boys teamwork apples

Sometimes Henry wakes up when the boys are getting ready for school.  He fell back to sleep in his chair.

Henry sleeping

I trimmed our raspberries last winter so I wouldn’t have a crop to pick in June/July with a new baby.  I thought I would be ready for picking by the time the fall berries were ready.  It was hard for me to keep up.

raspberries

If you look closely you can see Nola Mae’s sad face.  She wasn’t happy with picking raspberries because I wasn’t moving around enough.   She squirmed around and tried to escape.  By the time I got to the house my wrap job had gone bad!

wrap gone bad

I was a little discouraged with my wrap so I dug out my Ergo this week.  It fits her perfectly!

Ergo

  I love to make applesauce.  I love feeding applesauce to our boys.  I love sharing it with friends and my nephew.  Our apple tree blossoms were damaged during a frost this year.  We had very few apples so I bought four bushels of apples from Country Corner Sales.

apples

Photos of our apples from last year:  Click here.

Photos of Henry helping me make applesauce last year.  Click here.

After my stop to pick up the apples I went to the Amish greenhouse, Sunset Acres, for squash and pumpkins.  Perry is a good salesman and talked me into a huge mum plant.  I bought it with my birthday money that I got from my mom.  If I didn’t have that money burning a hole in my pocket I never would have bought it.  I hope that I planted it soon enough that it will come back next year!  Thank you, Mom!

mums b-day

I follow The Pioneer Woman’s blog.  I found these Slice-and-Bake Cookies.

I made a few changes…instead of nuts I chopped up garbanzo beans and I made a double batch and put these in the freezer.  If I were to do this again I wouldn’t chop the M &Ms. We have been enjoying a small amount of cookies every once in a while for a treat.

cookie dough for freezer

Charlie and his friends on the curb waiting for the Homecoming parade to start.

homecoming parade 2012

Once in a while I get Mystique out and give the boys a ride.

zara velvet wrap w horse (2)

The progress on the kayak…

Kayak glue

Kayak glued

Applesauce Friut Leather

Applesauce Fruit Leather

I love making applesauce in the fall.  This past fall I had a great helper!

 

Our boys love eating my applesauce until I feed them too much of it they get sick of it.  When they got sick of it last year I made some fruit leather with some of the leftovers in my dehydrator.  The boys didn’t like the fruit leather very much, I did!  

This winter I did an inventory of my canned applesauce.  I found I have tons of applesauce!   

I decided to try the fruit leather again.    I found some canned applesauce with chunks of apples (boys don’t like chunks), applesauce with strawberries (boys didn’t like that combo) and applesauce with raspberries (they didn’t like that combo either).

I have plastic liners for my trays.  My friend uses wax paper in place of the trays.  You can also use plastic wrap.

I had the best results with about 1/4 inch thickness of applesauce on the tray’s liner.

The owner’s manual directions said 135 degrees for 8-10 hours.

At eight hours the applesauce was like fruit leather but still a little too moist.  The directions in my manual said to cut it while it was still warm.  I used a pizza cutter.  The spatula was helpful in scraping the fruit leather of the plastic tray liner.

Because of the apple chunks I dried the fruit leather after the cutting for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Some slices were dry enough and didn’t need the extra drying time.

 

If I am remembering correctly a pint jar yielded one tray.

Other recipes/directions I found on-line:

Simply Recipes: Fruit Leather in the oven 

Heavenly Homemakers:  peach fruit leather

makeandtakes.com:  Apricot Leather dried in the sun

skiptomylou.org: Strawberry Fruit Leather (same directions as Apricot)