Apple sauce making started first thing Sunday morning and ended on Tuesday evening, my counter, stove, floor and myself were all in a constant state of sticky. Wednesday was spent cleaning the kitchen and all the utensils, putting them up for next time. I love homemade applesauce, the main reason is that there is no sugar added and believe me it is so sweet you would not know that it was just apples and cinnamon.
Last year we picked one tree and I did all the apple peeling with a paring knife. This year I invested in an apple peeler and I would highly recommend doing the same if you feel that you will be doing this on a once a year basis or throughout the year.
You will need apples that are sweet, not granny smiths. Once you can/jar your apple sauce it has a shelf life of 2 – 3 years! You can use Honey Crisp, Winesap, Fuji, Rome, Cortland. The first time that I made applesauce the recipe I found said to use an assortment of apples, but now since I pick a whole tree – I just use the one kind – mainly because the other apple farms in the area are not organic and I don’t want to mix organic apples with non – both ways made great applesauce.
Apples (one bushel will yield about 12 – 13 quarts), but you can use whatever quantity you want
Lemon juice (optional)
12 – 13 quart canning jars and lids, I prefer the wide mouth, easier to scoop out
1 – 3 pint size canning jar and lids
Large pot for cooking the apples
Small pot for heating the lids
Lid lifter (optional – I use tongs)
Water bath canner
Sieve (I use the blender, which adds the step of peeling the apples) think I will invest in a sieve for the next batch
1. Wash the lids and jars in hot, soapy water. If you have a dishwasher you can wash and sterilize, if not after washing the jar, sterilize them in the water bath canner – once the water boils turn off, but let the jars sit in the water. You want to keep the jars warm so they don’t crack when adding the applesauce or in the water bath canner when sealing the jars.
2. Place the lids in a small pot of water and cover.
4. Put 1 inch of water into the large pot and add the cut apples until completely filled. If you do not want the apples to brown you can put the cut apples in a lemon juice wash prior to placing in the pot – I do not. Cover and turn the heat on high, once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to medium and keep the pot covered. Stir the apples occasionally – they are done when the apples are soft throughout. Turn the heat off and allow to cool, some.
5. Heat the water in the small pot with the lids, once the water boils turn off but keep the top on – so they will stay hot until needed.
6. Take the jars out of the bath water and then turn the heat on high and let the water come back to a boil.
7. If you did not peel the apples, put the apples through a sieve and put the processed apples back into the large pot – if you did peel the apples, puree batches in the blender and place back into the large pot.
8. Season the applesauce with cinnamon, based on your taste. Make sure to mix the cinnamon really well in the sauce – you want to make sure the cinnamon is dispersed throughout the whole batch. The apples do not need any further cooking, but needs to be kept warm until you are ready to fill the jars.
9. Put a dish towel down on the counter and line your jars up. Take the lids out of the small pot – so that they are ready to place on the jars.
11. Place the jars into the boiling bath water and boil pint jars for 15 minutes and quart jars for 20 minutes, start timing after the water has come back to a boil. Since I had several friends ask for some of my applesauce I re-purposed some glass jars, sterilizing them, but not sealing them and told them to refrigerate and use within 30 days.
12. Once the jars are ready to take out, use the jar grabber, if not using the lifting rack. Place then on the dishtowel and wait for them to seal, sometimes they have sealed but the lid has not sucked down, press down and if it does not pop up it is sealed. If they still have not sealed turn them over for about 15 – 20 minutes and they should seal – if not refrigerate (once cooled) and use within 30 days.