My family loves applesauce. We canned 24 quarts last October, and by March we were out. My kids are growing, and I’d love to find a way to can 50-100 quarts in a day. I have all the jars, canners, and stovetop space (we have a kitchen stove and a separate stove in our canning room) we could ever need.
Currently, we’re using a hand crank peeler/corer, cooking in a few big pots, then running through the smoothie blender which has a handy dispenser. I could scale this up, but I’d love to find a better way of I could. Considering getting a Kitchenaid stand mixer with a food mill attachment.
I just wonder if you could use an immersion blender instead of the smoothie blender. It might facilitate that step since the smoothie blender doesn’t have a very large capacity, I imagine, but you’d lose the handy dispenser and you’d need to ladle the sauce.
You might also use the oven to either make applesauce directly or to preheat sliced apples so that they cooked faster. Other than that I think you’d need a big copper kettle and a gas ring and a wooden paddle, which would be costly - easy to spend 1000 to 2000, without plumbing in the gas line… Here’s a picture of what I’m talking about. I’m not recommending this outlet -I just found the picture! Bear in mind that handling five gallons of hot, thick, gooey, percolating anything is a bit … touchy.
Disclaimer: I don’t make much applesauce. When I have I used Liberties done with the Applemaster, and I leave in some peel for color. Cinnamon, but no sugar (none needed).
With some varieties like pristine with thin skin, you can supposedly just leave the skin on. I think my wife did that. For coring, if you have plenty of apples (and don’t need to skin them), you can core them quickly by slicing off the sides leaving a square core.
Why can at all? Run them through the blender and freeze them uncooked in bags. Leave the peel on when you grind them up. Canning and cooking kills alot of vitamins and what do you gain from it? Don’t get me wrong we do it both ways with pears.
I’m big on leaving the peels on. Plus, if you are making applesauce, the color from red apples makes a striking addition to the plate.
I never peel. No added sugar. Cut off core and boil with 1-2” water, adding more as it cooks down. Immersion blender. Then freeze or can.
Sounds like you’ve got a great canning setup.
I make apple and pear sauce using this thing:
I think there’s also a power attachment in case you don’t want to crank it. It makes a smooth sauce so I like to go back and add in some grated fruit for texture. There are a couple of different grating sizes you can buy. It makes a mess but it saves time because it removes the peels too and you can run the “mash” through it a couple of times if needed to get all the sauce out. I can never get those hand crank peelers to work well. If you had two of these babies going at once I’m sure you could crank out a lot of sauce.
I used to make pizza sauce at my old job using one of these, but an electric all metal industrial version. I did probably 40 gallons of tomatoes at a time, it was pretty efficient. I was usually done within a few hours.
I’ll definitely look into that! My blender can sometimes give me too fine of a grain if I run it too long, so I typically err on the side of too chunky.
We canned 21 quarts in about 4 hrs yesterday. Not bad, but not where I’d like to be. Especially not bad given we had a 5 year old helping and a 9 mo old “helping”! We peel and core on the hand crank machine, cut the apple in half. Since it’s cut into a spiral on the coring machine, that essentially leaves nice, consistent slices. Then, we boil in an inch or two of cider (we pressed several gallons last weekend), add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste, and can through the blender. No sugar.
We’ll definitely try making some with the peels as per all the recommendations.
You blend just the raw slices? What do you do with this?
I have to cut mine up to get the worms and rot spots then cook , mash, Foley food mill and no sugar so pressure can. Pears i leave the seed and get a caramel like taste, Apple we deseed to eliminate the much higher Cyanide content.
Sounds delicious JVD! Your output is impressive and I’m sure your young kitchen crew will enjoy it more knowing they helped make it. It sounds pretty darn fast to me.
poncirusguy - I do more pears than apples, very similar process to your description because I always have lots of grit/bad spots to trim. It’s my understanding that cooking breaks down cyanide? I never thought about the taste you might get from pear seeds. Maybe that is part of the reason why batches can taste so different. Nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution and I’m sure your product turns out great, but I was curious when you indicated you pressure canned due to adding no sugar. The canning guides I’ve read indicate adding sugar is optional for applesauce? I water bath can it without sugar or even…cue spooky music…steam can.
I make pear sauce that way which we use in cakes, cookies, oatmeal, and other recipes during colder times of the year. Just fresh pear sauce is great. It all depends on how soft the fruit is your working with. The fruit needs to be dead ripe and it won’t work with every kind of fruit. Meaning not all pears get soft nor do apples. Try it then ask yourself why your cooking it.
Victorio strainer/food mill. I’ve had and used mine for many decades - great for apples and tomatoes. Cut out stem & blossom end, quarter, cook, run through mill. Like drusket shows (maybe its the same). Somewhat messy but worth it.
For good large apples I peel, core, slice/cube and dry. I found a good knife worked faster, easier, better for me than the cranked peelers. Sue
I can peel, core, and spiral cut a large apple in about 8 seconds. The thinner slices also cook faster. That’s not my bottleneck. The milling is where I need to see improvements. I’m going to look hard at those tomato mills, but I need to retain the coarse grain of traditional apple sauce. I’m not a big fan of the baby food consistency of some finer mills.
Yeah, not sure the food mills offer you any benefit then. My hands seize up if I peel too much so that’s where they’re an advantage for me. There is a salsa size screen that is supposed to specifically allow chunks but I’ve never used it. Maybe one of the cider makers on this site will chime in with info on their large scale apple grinders.
Sue - Ah, my model is a Victorio also, just couldn’t remember the name.
We canned another 25 quarts last night and used the stick blender in the pots. I really liked it and believe we’ll utilize this for now.