It is apple season, which means that no matter where I go or what errand I’m running, inevitably a sack full of arlets, honeycrisps, or jonagolds comes home with me. I’ve been working my way through the bounty, making jam, butter, and sauce (hopefully more than enough to last what is predicted to be a very cold winter).
Here’s my technique for super-easy (no peeling or coring necessary) pumpkin pie spiced applesauce. Now, I know that we’re currently in the midst of a pie spice backlash, but truly, there’s nothing better than sweet sauce spiked with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice. Try it in your next batch of applesauce. I’m certain you’ll be convinced.
- 6 pounds apples
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Chop the apples into eighths and heap them into a large, non-reactive pot with the water and cover. Set the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring it to a low simmer. Let the apples cook for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft enough to crush with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold ten cups of sauce (I used two liter sized Weck jars and one half liter jar, but a similar combination of pints and quarts would also work).
- Fit your food mill with a medium-sized screen and position it over a large mixing bowl. Work the cooked apples through the food mill until all the sauce in the bowl and all you have left in the top of the food mill are dry skins and seeds.
- Return the applesauce to the pan in which you first cooked it and place it over medium high heat. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, and lemon juice. Taste the sauce
- Spoon the applesauce into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a chopstick to ease out any trapped air pockets and add more sauce to return the headspace to the proper levels, if necessary. Wipe the rims, apply the seals, lids, and clips (or lids and rings, if you’re not using Weck jars), and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes (if you live above 1,000 feet in elevation, adjust your processing time accordingly).
- When time is up, slide canning pot off the heat and remove the lid. Let the jars cool slowly in the pot for ten minutes. When the cooling time is up, remove the jars from the canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
- When the jars are cool enough to handle, test the jars to ensure they’ve sealed properly. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten within two weeks.