When we moved into our new house last year, it came with an already mature apple tree in the back yard. Yay! While the apples are not necessarily completely ready to harvest, lots of perfectly good apples have fallen on the ground, and the boys are quick to pick them up. ;)
We already have counted over 100 just off the ground alone, so I decided I better get busy finding ways to use them. The other day, I made a big pan of apple crisp, and today I got to work looking for other ways to preserve them. I made a crock pot full of applesauce, which I am in the middle of getting canned right now. After the kids go to sleep, I will also be making apple pie filling to can, using this recipe. I will probably also be making apple butter soon, too.
Here's the way I made the applesauce. I cored and quartered apples until they filled my crock pot. I added a cup of water and turned the crock pot on high until I could hear them boiling when I opened the lid. Then I turned them down to low and cooked them until they were very soft. I then ran the apples through my food mill to get rid of the peels and mush them into sauce. I put the sauce right back into the crock pot and added 1 cup of sugar and cooked it on low for about another hour. It turned out perfect!
Okay, my canner is boiling, so I better go take care of business. :)