I'm at it again! This time it's applesauce. Canning applesauce is about as easy as it gets. There is no real skill involved, and yet, you're left with the most fantastic results. I never buy applesauce, because it seems there's always someone willing to part with apples from their tree. Free apples means nearly free applesauce (I say nearly because there's still that .15 lid used to seal the jar, and the small amount of lemon juice used to keep it looking pretty)!
Wash, quarter and core apples. Place apples in a large stockpot and add 1-2 cups water (enough to fill about one inch up the side of the pan). Bring apples to a boil; boil 15 minutes or until tender.
Press apples through a food mill (I use a Victorio Strainer). Add 1 tablespoon "Fruit Fresh" or lemon juice per gallon of sauce. Add sugar if needed. (Note: If the apples are left to ripen on the tree until the first good frost, you shouldn't need any sugar. The frost causes the sugars in the apple to set, leaving a golden ribbon through the apple, and an intense sweet apple taste.)
Return applesauce to the stockpot and return to a boil, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved (if no sugar was added, just bring sauce to boil).
Place new lids in a small saucepan and cover with water. Heat over medium heat until ready to use.
Fill jars with applesauce leaving 1/2" of headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a clean, damp washcloth. Place hot lids on jars, and tighten screw-top ring.
Place jars in a very large pot, cover with hot water. Cover pot with a lid. Bring water to a boil; process (water remains at a constant boil) jars 10 minutes (for pints or quarts).
Remove jars from boiling water bath and place on the counter to cool. Lids will begin to "pop" as they set, reassuring you that the jars have sealed properly. If you have any jars that do not seal, simply place them in the fridge and use them first.
Just a note: I got 25 pints of applesauce from two boxes of apples (the equivalent of about a bushel and a half, I think?)
I got really ambitious and decided to use some of my freshly-canned applesauce to make a treat. Check it out!
Independent Consultant-Shelf Reliance
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