*This post originally appeared on October 17, 2011. I have taken new pictures to update the post. *
I have made applesauce every year for the last 10 years. After living in the Pacific Northwest (Portland area) for 5 years I became spoiled by all the amazing apple splendor. One particular house we lived in had two large apple trees and I became accustomed to pillaging the trees every fall to make apple butter, sauce, and filling along with several pies, cobblers and muffins. So when I moved to the midwest I was super bummed to have to now pay for apples. Boo! But since apples have a near and dear place in my heart and I was spoiled by homemade applesauce for years I still take time to can every year. This year I had a friend named Jen who wanted to learn how to can applesauce. So I invited her over and took pictures of the process to update this post.
One bushel of apples (I use a variety)
Quart sized canning jars regular or wide mouth work
canning rings and new lids (FYI once a lid has been sealed you can no longer use it again to seal a jar)
Note: I do this process two to three times for one bushel so I would separate your bushel of apples before you begin.
1. Wash your apples really well and then cut them into quarters. There is no need to peel them or cut out the seeds.
2. Place them in a large pot with hot water and let them boil until soft (about 30 minutes).
3. Also boil your rings and lids to sterilize them as well.
4. Once the apples are soft all you have to do is attach the fruit strainer attachment to the front of your Kitchen Aid and add the drained apples into the chute.
This thing is awesome…it separates the skin and seeds from the applesauce and gives you pure applesauce in one pot and the skins and seeds in another.
5. I run my skins and peels through one more time just to get all the liquid out of them. I am shocked at how much more I get from running them through twice.
While I have updated this post with new pictures I can’t help but keep these precious ones of my babies 4 years ago. So sweet. So as you can see, it is a family affair.
Kayla age 3
Isaac age 5
6. Pour all of your sauce in a large stockpot. It will be kinda pinkish if you use red skinned apples.
7. Add 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice and 1-2 cups of sugar depending on your preference. Here is where you can add cinnamon to it if you wish as well. YUM!
8. Heat the oven up to about 200 degrees and set the washed quart jars in there to sterilize them.
9. After you get the sauce to your liking, boil it, stirring constantly. You don’t want the sauce to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
10. Remove from heat and ladle the sauce into the hot jars.
11. Add the cap and ring onto the top of the jar leaving about 1/4” headspace. Turn the hot jars upside down to seal.
Now many a canner will tell you to water bath them at this point. But in my opinion, if a jar seals it is sealed. Since I sterilize my jars and boil my applesauce I feel this way is good enough. If it was good enough for my grandma it is good enough for me. After this post, and some of the comments about my lack of water bathing, I was freaked out, so I water bathed them and I lost two jars from cracking during the bath. I have sealed my jars like this for a decade and have had one bad jar out of hundreds. But you are more than welcome to water bath them if you wish, and according to the experts – Ball Blue Book you should.
12. Let them cool completely and then turn them right side up. Make sure all the jars have sealed by making sure there is no give in the lid. If one didn’t seal then pop it in the refrigerator and let that be your first jar of sauce that you eat.
For more old canning posts (forgive the pictures):