This weekend I finally got around to making applesauce.
I've only had 12 lbs of apples sitting on my kitchen floor for two weeks.
Out of all the canning and preserving I do, I enjoy applesauce the most.
Mostly because it's easy, doesn't require a lot of babysitting, and requires two ingredients:
APPLES and WATER
There are tons of 'how to make applesauce' blog posts out there. Mine is nothing new or special. But I can't ask you to use homemade applesauce in recipes without showing you how to make it.
Plus, wouldn't it be easier to stay right here, on this blog? [gratuitous self-promotion]
Would it help if I tell you the entire point of this post is so that you can make the Slow Cooker Apple & Cinnamon Oatmeal recipe that I'm going to post tomorrow? [bribery]
Sure you could always use store bought applesauce, but homemade is more fun and rewarding. [nudge, nudge]
You can even make a small batch just to serve with dinner because you are so awesome like that! [see general notes at bottom].
- Apples, I use a mixture of cooking and sauce apples, whatever is available, although I do love using a large portion of Fuji apples
- Water - 1/2 cup for every 2 lbs of apples
1. If you are going to can your applesauce: Wash your jars, lids, rubber seals (I used my tattler lids), etc.
2. Place jars in oven. Heat oven to 200 degrees.
Once at temp, heat jars for no less than 20 minutes to sterilize. I always put in way more than I think I will need, just in case.
If using a food processor or blender: PEEL, core and cut into chunks.
(get help if you can, this way takes longer, but it's no big deal, I did it this way for years before I got my food mill. I also swore a lot about just spending the money to buy a damn food mill.)
4. Add apples and 1/2 cup of water for every 2 pounds into large stock pot. (I cooked 12 lbs of apples).
Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a high simmer or lower if you are going to somewhat ignore them (it happens, I do it all the time).
Stir frequently to avoid scorching/burning.
Cook down until peels start to separate and apples are tender, about 45 minutes, but time will vary depending on how many pounds you are cooking and how high of a simmer.
5. Remove from heat and process in small batches through your food mill or blender/food processor.
BE CAREFUL…my worst preserving burns have come from applesauce. Wicked hot stuff!
If you are using a blender.. Pulse it until it is of applesauce consistency rather than pureeing the hell out of it.. if you process it too long your going to have applesauce the consistency of babyfood. Not pleasant. Unless you are a baby, then it's pretty good.
I totally forgot to photo the next part. Duh.
6. **Fill your hot jars: Remove jars from oven carefully with an ovenmitt or jar lifter.
- If using metal lids: leave 1/2 inch headspace
- If using Tattler lids: leave 1 inch headspace
Wipe rims with damp paper towel to clean.
Apply lids to just finger tight.
I turn my lids with one hand, while NOT holding on to the jar. Once the jar starts to turn freely then I stop.
Place in canner.
Process 15 minutes.
If using Tattler lids: Immediately upon removing, tighten lids firmly.
Set aside to cool for 12-24 hours.
Some notes for Tattler lids:
- A few hours later I check to see how my tattler lids are sealing. There is no pop like metal lids. It's more visual at this point. You will be able to see how they are vacuuming down, they get really concave looking.
- Not sure… put a lid on an empty jar and a metal band, then sit the jar next to your cooling jars… It will give you a guide.
- If you don't have a good seal you'll be able to see that one of the lids won't be 'sinking down in' as far as the others. I'll let the jar cool to the touch and if it definitely has not sunk down in like the others, I will carefully remove the metal band and give a light lift on the lid, usually it will come right off if there is not a good seal.
- If I question the seal at all, I will refrigerate it and we'll just use that jar right away.
- I've only had 2 jars not seal in the last year with Tattler lids, and I know one was my fault for not wiping the rim.
NOTES IN GENERAL:
You can totally make a small batch and not can it.
- Throw a few peeled, cored apples into a pot with enough water to cover the bottom.
- Simmer them down, then smash them up with a potato masher.
- Add some cinnamon and serve warm with dinner.
If you are new to canning: Please reference a good instructional book on canning and preserving for more precise details on the process… I have several good books listed in the right hand column of my blog in the Amazon.com widget.
Eating warm, freshly made applesauce, with some cinnamon is pretty much awesome.