It's official- there are crabapples everywhere.

From two picks we gathered three rubbermaid tubs of apples to process. We donated them to the Steinbach Family Resource Centre. A whole morning was spent processing them into applesauce. Five of us made light work of it.

We also managed to cut 96 cups of apples and froze them in pieces. This way, the Centre can benefit from pies, crumbles, or any other apple dish they like throughout the rest of the year. Crabapple pieces freeze well, as long as they're sealed in an airtight manner. Pour them in the pie crust, add some sugar and spice, and your kitchen will smell heavenly in no time.

For the applesauce, we filled big pots with rinsed apples and set them on the stove to stew. No water or anything else required- they "melt" down with their own stored moisture. We had to keep an eye on them, though, as stewing fruit usually hardens a bit on the bottom of the pot, no matter how careful you are.

Once the apples were stewed down, we poured them through the sauce maker. (Ours is a Victorio brand one, but of course anything can work.) This saucer purees the apples while keeping the seeds, stems, and peels separate. The puree comes out of one spout, and the mash comes out another. We saved the mash for chicken feed.

We poured the pureed applesauce back into a pot and reheated it up to boiling. At the same time, we heated washed glass jars in the oven at 235C for 10 minutes. (They become more fragile when heated so be careful.) While the jars were heating and the sauce was simmering, we started water boiling in the giant canning pot.

The boiling applesauce got ladled into the oven-warmed jars, lids screwed on tight, and into the giant canning pot they went. They boiled in there for 15 minutes, and then we very carefully pulled them out with jar tongs and set them off to the side on towels to cool down. The next day, we tested them by removing the rings and lifting the jar by the sealed lid. If it stays together, it's sealed. Don't lift the jars higher than half an inch off the table though.
Apples throughout the year!


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