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With Labor Day past, many people consider it officially time to start enjoying fall. For me, fall doesn't feel official until after our local antique tractor show and festival which is this weekend. So many vendors there have apple items and pumpkins for sale that I can't help but feel like fall has arrived after I've gone.
Even though I don't truly feel like its fall yet, some foods would disagree....mainly apples. Apple season has started here in Indiana and my daughter had been asking if she could pick apples, so a couple of weeks ago we drove up north to Beasley's Orchard to let her have a go.
I have to say that I love how in-tune she is with our food and local produce. If we have a snack or something, she will ask if we can pick it or grow it.
We had never been to Beasley's before and found out that this is the first year they've actually let customers pick their own apples. It was quite the drive for us to go up there, but many orchards closer to us, do not allow u-pick. Since we wanted to make the most of the drive up there, we decided to pick about 20lbs. of apples!
Both of the kids had fun and apple picking was much easier and faster than going to pick blueberries, which we do earlier in the summer every year. We picked a mix of the Gala and the Jonalicious. The Gala apples are very sweet on their own and are perfect for snacking. The Jonalicious are a bit tart and are excellent for pies or to balance with the Galas in recipes like apple butter or this applesauce recipe.
So far, I've made one apple pie, a batch of apple butter, a batch of cinnamon applesauce and this blueberry vanilla applesauce and we STILL have a few apples left for eating and more pie!
The thing I LOVE about this applesauce is that everything in it is about as local as I could get. I used the blueberries that we picked and froze earlier in the summer. The vanilla extract was made by a fellow farmers market vendor. And the apples and apple cider were both from Beasley's! The quality of ingredients definitely can make a difference in any recipe but especially in something as simple as applesauce.
A few tips to help when making this applesauce:
- I highly recommend using an immersion blender. If you don't have one, let me just say how much easier it has made this canning season for me! No longer do I have to worry while trying to blend up hot marinara or tomato soup in the blender. Check out the immersion blender that I have on Amazon.
- Use real vanilla extract. I really just don't think that imitation vanilla will give you as good of a result.
- And if you're new to canning, check out this water bath canning guide.
- 5.5 lb apples (a mix of sweet & tart apples)
- 3 cups frozen blueberries
- 2 TBSP pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- Core and slice your apples. There really is no need to peel them. You won't even know there are peels in it once the apples cook down.
- Add all of the ingredients to a large pot. Cook on medium heat for 45 minutes, making sure to stir the mixture every 15 minutes.
- When the mixture has cooked, use an immersion blender to blend your sauce to your desired consistency.
- Transfer your applesauce to pint jars that have been prepared for canning and process them using the water bath method for 15 minutes.