you begged & pleaded for the the recipe for the homemade applesauce, and we all know that i can’t say no. so without further ado…
* apples (lots & lots of apples. one bushel of apples = about 12 or 13 quarts of applesauce. & you can use any variety of apples, but sweet ones work best – think gala, fugi, red delicious, macintosh)
BRING boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling. (or you could wash the jars in the dishwasher & turn on the “warmer” until needed.)
WASH, CUT & CORE apples using one of those-dancy apple-cutter-corer-do-hickeys (no need to peel – just use the entire apple), & place fruit into a large stock pot. (rumor has it, you could also make this recipe in a crock pot.)
BOIL apples in about 1-inch of apple juice. bring to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, with the pot’s lid on. lower the flame return & continue to cook until apples are soft.
CRUSH the cooked apples using a potato masher, food processor or sieve, according to your personal taste (i prefer a chunkier applesauce, so it makes my job a wee bit easier).
SEASON your applesauce. a few shakes of the cinnamon jar is all you’ll probably really need. but, if necessary you could add a little bit of sugar, or even some nutmeg (if you want to get fancy).
LADLE immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. wipe jar rims and threads. cover with two-piece lids. screw bands tightly. place jars on elevated rack in canner. lower rack into canner. (water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. add boiling water, if necessary.) cover; bring water to gentle boil. process 15 min. remove jars and place upside down on towel to cool completely for 24 hours. after jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (if lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
* store unopened & properly sealed applesauce in a cool dry, dark place up to 1 year. refrigerate opened applesauce up to 3 weeks.
here are a few tips & tricks i’ve discovered to be super useful:
* the smaller the jam jar, the better. smaller jar sizes are better for some many reasons – less water needed in your stock pot when “processing” the jam, which means it takes less time for boiling. smaller jars are perfect for gift giving. plus, once opened, the applesauce is only good for 3 weeks – a smaller jam jar prevents less spoilage.
* i think it’s easiest to use a potato masher to crush the fruit, you can also us a food processor, or a sieve, but i like my applesauce with little chunks of fruit, instead of velvety smooth – i don’t know, it makes it seem more “homemade.”
* after “processing” the jars, i like to let the jams cool upside down, as an additional means of ensuring the jars seal… you definitely don’t want to slave over a hot stove all afternoon, only to realize the next day that your jars didn’t seal properly!
* for perfectly sized, mason jar labels go HERE.
* for a great, hands-on, step-by-step guide to canning (plus a slew of recipes & tips) go HERE.