It's that time of year again, you know the one I'm talking about—no, not pumpkin spice everything season—canning season is officially coming to an end. We've already had our first frost, so I stopped by the orchard to pick up the last batch of apples for the year. I know I've already posted recipes for Easy Crock-Pot Applesauce, Strawberry Applesauce and Spiced Blueberry Applesauce—now it's time to try it with peaches.
It just so happens that I have a freezer full of them left over from making Sweet Cherry and Peach Preserves a few months ago.
Now I realize that not everyone has excess peaches on their hands, so feel free to pick up frozen peaches at the market the next time you're there if you're tempted to try this recipe. Trust me you won't regret it. Personally I'm glad I saved so many, it means that I'll be able to enjoy a small taste of summer when it's -30°F outside and I'm regretting the decision to move to Wisconsin. Well, unless my little man decides to eat all the applesauce before spring rolls around—he does like to eat applesauce like it's going out of style.
Easy Crock-Pot Vanilla Bean Peach Applesauce
makes roughly 8 half pints or 4 pints
8 large sized apples, any variety
12 - 16 ounces peaches, fresh or frozen
1 Vanilla Bean
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
water-bath canner or stock pot with lifter
8 - 10 half pint canning jars with lids and rings
magnetic lid lifter
clean dish towels and cloths
- Thoroughly wash all fruit before beginning. Cut away any brown areas, peel the apples and peaches, then cover with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Thinner apples will cook much faster. This is where an apple peeler/corer/slicer comes in handy—it will also cut your time peeling apples in half. Beg or borrow one if you can, you won't regret it.
- Open vanilla bean pod with a knife and scrape the insides into the applesauce. Once insides are removed, toss the entire pod in with the other ingredients. Cook on high for 3 - 4 hours, or until the fruit mashes easily.
While waiting for applesauce to cook, sterilize your canning jars, rings, potato masher, and any other equipment that will come into contact with the applesauce. You can do this easily by putting everything in the dishwasher and running it. Just don't put your equipment in with dirty dishes.
- While your jars are sterilizing fill your stock pot with water and let it boil. Keep in mind that it takes awhile for a large pot of water to boil. You don't want to fill your jars before your water is ready.
- Place a sauce pan on the stove, add your canning lids, and fill pan with several inches of water. Bring the water to a simmer and allow the sealing wax on the lids to soften for several minutes.
- Fill sterilized jars with hot applesauce leaving 1/2 inch head space at the top. Remove air bubbles with a knife, wipe the rims with a clean damp rag, place lids on top and fasten ring until ﬁngertip tight.
- Place sealed jars on a rack in the canner or stock pot. Make sure jars are covered with water and that the waterline is about an inch over the top of the jars, then cover pot with lid.
You do not want the jars coming into contact with the bottom of the canner or stock pot because they will bounce around and likely break.
- Process half pints and pints for 15 minutes, quarts for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Time starts once the water has come to a complete boil again. You may need to add boiling water to keep the water level up as the jars are processing.
- Remove jars from canner, set on a clean dish towel and let them rest for several hours until cool. You should hear a popping sound as the lids seal.
- To check the seals of your jars wait until they have cooled and press the center gently with your finger. If it moves up and down the jar is not sealed. You can either reprocess using a new lid never reuse an old lid or eat the applesauce.
- Label with detailed contents and date, then store in a cool, dark, and dry place.
Make sure to experiment with the flavors different types of apples will produce. I used organic Galla apples for this batch because they were on sale at whole foods, but many varieties make a good sauce.