It’s Apple season!  It’s still plenty warm enough during the day to get lots of work done outside but the evenings and mornings are crisp and cool, pretty much my favorite time of year.  We love apples in this house, especially apple sauce.  So that means apple season quickly turns into canning season here.

apple picking

We always plan to can enough apple sauce to get us through the bulk of the year so we avoid those touristy pick-your-own places.  Sure, apple picking is great family fun and we love a good hay ride as much as the next family but a place like that is pricey and we need to pick in bulk.  So, we head to a small orchard down a couple back roads.  The family that owns it is super sweet and they always have a big selection and the best price per pound by far.

washing apples with EO

Once we get the apples home we always give them a quick wash.  Cold water and a few drops of Young Living lemon essential oil.  This mixture cleans the apples as well as helps keep them fresh for longer, which is key since we do the majority of our canning on the weekends.

preparing to can applesauce

We used to use a hand turn apple peeler and then hand chopped them all, which took forever.  This past Christmas I received the peeling / spiralizing attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer and it has made canning so much easier! Seriously, one of my favorite gifts.  The attachment peels and cores the apples and at the same time thinly slices them.  Its cut our apple canning time in half and makes it so that we can get so much more done in one day.

canning apple sauce

Our apple sauce cooks down on the stove with just a dash of cinnamon and a little maple syrup.  Since we don’t mind chunky apple sauce, I never bother to puree it.  It’s just one more step that takes time and makes more dishes.  I love the wide mouth quart mason jars, they are the perfect size to feed our family and the wide mouth means you don’t get sauce stuck in the neck of the jar that you can never get out.

So far we have 8 quarts canned and I usually try and get 12-15 done before the end of the season.  With Bowen eating table food now too, I’m not sure how far into the year that will get us but its a good starting point.  I typically keep a note running on my phone with the amount we have canned and when we run out so that I can plan for the next year.  I do this with all of the produce we preserve (including frozen).  It’s a super easy way to keep track and helps with garden planning and budgeting too.

apple picking

Do you go apple picking? have you ever preserved your pickings?  Hop on over to our Facebook page and lets chat!