Saturday, January 7, 2012

Home Canned Applesauce

Originally posted 10/18/11.

Our family was blessed this week with apples from two sources.  I LOVE free, pesticide-free apples!!!  (Thanks again Michelle and Amy!)  What that meant to me was I got to make applesauce and apple pie filling!

I almost didn't write this post because I assumed (I know...bad thing...) that y'all know how to make applesauce.  And maybe you do.  But I do recall a time in my culinary infancy that I didn't know how to, so thus, this post.

Applesauce was one of the first things I learned to make and can.  I had received some apples from one of my co-workers and she gave me these basic instructions.  It was so easy, albeit a little time consuming, but so worth it.  Just seeing these beautiful jars on the shelf in the dead of winter is so satisfying, not to mention all the wonderful things you can make with applesauce.

By the way, I don't add any sweetener or spices to my applesauce when I can it.  I just leave it the way it is.  If I am serving it just plain, I may add a little sucanat and a sprinkle of cinnamon if it's too tart.  I like to leave it plain because I do use applesauce in baking so I don't care to have the extra sweetness or spices that might alter the outcome of my recipe.

So, if you are the recipient of some free apples or want to buy some and make your own applesauce, I hope this inspires you!

Homemade Applesauce

  1. Wash apples.
  2. Cut apples in quarters, and remove core and seeds.  NOTE: I do not peel my apples as I process my cooked sauce through a food mill before placing in the jars.  This gets rid of those peels and gives your applesauce a smooth, silky texture which we prefer.  If you like chunky applesauce, you're gonna hafta peal those babies before they are cooked.
  3. Place apples in pan.  (I use my large stock pot for this.)
  4. Add some water to prevent apples from scorching.  This will vary depending on how many apples you are cooking and how juicy your apples are.
  5. Cook on medium to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until your apples are mushy.
  6. Have hot, clean jars ready as well as the lids (disks) in hot water, too.
  7. Process hot sauce through food mill.
  8. Fill jars to within 1/4" to 1/2" from the top.  Wipe off rim of jar and seal with disks and rings.
  9. Place jars in a canner and fill with water so the tops of jars are covered with at least 1" of water.
  10. Bring water to a boil and begin timing.  20 minutes for quart jars, 15 minutes for pints.
  11. Remove jars from canner and place in a draft-free place.  As they cool, you will hear the lids make a popping noise.  That, my friend, is the sound of success!  Your lid has sealed!  After the jars have cooled, if you have any that did not seal you can put it in the fridge to use up right away or you can try to reseal it if you are making another batch of applesauce.
  12. Remove metal rings.  (You want to do this so they don't rust.  If you have any rusty metal rings, toss them.)
  13. Label and date your jars.  I just take a Sharpie marker and write on the lid.  Or you can be really creative and make pretty labels.

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