Canning, Recipes

A weekend of Applesauce

My eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach this weekend. I went to our local market to buy apples for applesauce, and the price was so astonishingly great that I bought two bushels instead of one. Yay apples!

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I spent all day Sunday (from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) making applesauce — with a little help from my older sister who was in town — and only got through one bushel. Considering it took seven hours, I don’t know when I’ll get to using the next bushel — hopefully one night this week. I think I’ll turn the remainder into apple butter. Yum!

Anyway, if you want to read about how I make applesauce or see one of the few videos I’ve made for A Smith of All Trades, check out my applesauce post from 2012. My dad, little sister and I have made applesauce each year for the past three years. After the first year and a limited supply of sauce, I started doing a batch with the family and a batch on my own. This weekend was my batch and I made 28 jars (24 quarts, 4 pints). Next weekend, the plan is to do it again with my dad. Double the help = half the production time!

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In my 2012 post I shared a bunch of different add-ins for the applesauce. It is a family tradition to doctor the applesauce with things like vanilla, cinnamon red hots, brandy, candy canes — all sorts of stuff! This year, I added in fireball whisky. I’d never had it before, but our family friend suggested the cinnamon flavor would taste great in applesauce. Well, he was right. It might be my new favorite thing to add in!

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Recipes

Homemade Apple Chips

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Two recipes in a row?! You are gonna be so shocked when I’m sharing a third tomorrow 🙂

Today’s recipe is for a super healthy snack: Apple Chips!

I found a recipe on Pinterest from Maggie at Vittles and Bits and just had to try it out. I tweaked mine just a bit and now am a total addict. Just what I need, one more thing to be addicted to!

I grabbed some Golden Delicious apples from the store for my chips (Maggie used Red Delicious) and set them aside to be sliced.

Then, I lined three baking sheets with parchment paper. This probably goes without saying, but since I am not a total foodie I had no idea there was a difference between wax paper and parchment paper. Rookie move. I ended up destroying a baking pan because of that, so make sure you have the right kind of paper.

Spray your parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

Apple Chips 1

Start to slice your apples. I used three for this batch. Slice them as thinly as you can and lay them on the parchment paper. I cut some of mine in slices, others in circles going straight through the core. Either way works, just make sure there aren’t any seeds.

If you have a dog, make sure no seeds fall onto the floor. They aren’t good for dogs (or anyone, really). Just sayin’.

Once your baking sheets are covered in the thin slices, I sprinkled a mixture of Splenda and cinnamon on them. You can bake them without either, with just cinnamon, with just Splenda, with sugar… blah blah blah, you get the idea. Use your imagination. On one of my baking sheets I lightly drizzled honey on the apples — it added a really nice flavor. Next time I make them, I want to sprinkle nutmeg on top. Yum!

Apple Chips 2

Now, time to bake! I set my oven to 215 F and put those suckers in for 2.5 hours. They take a while to dry out all the way, but they make your house smell amazing the whole time. Totally worth the wait.

Apple Chips 3

When you take them out, your super thin slices will be extra crispy. Some of your thicker slices might not be all of the way dry. I found that if you put them into a container they finish drying out. Or, you can eat them that way, too. Still delicious.

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Now your chips are done. Eat to your heart’s content. It is fruit after all 🙂

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Thanks for the inspiration, Maggie!

Craft Projects, Graphic Design

Applesauce Labels

Remember all of that applesauce I made last month? Well, it’s getting super close to Christmas and time to give it all away. I wanted to jazz up my gift a little by making labels for the applesauce, so I designed a super cute red and green label in InDesign.

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I printed them out and started cutting each label out. I applied them to the jars in different ways, but the way I liked best was adding it to the jar with ribbon. To do so, I cut two lines on either side of the label using an exacto knife, then I slid the ribbon through these holes.

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I then put a few dabs of hot glue onto the back the label and placed it onto the jar, making sure to secure the ribbon with a dab or two of hot glue as well.

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Don’t the labels look great? I left a line at the bottom so I could write in the flavor of the applesauce before giving them to my coworkers for Christmas.

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Here’s one with a little bow instead of ribbon around the jar. These turned out adorable as well.

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