i don’t even like apple pie & yet, i find myself sneaking downstairs at night & eating straight from the jar – it’s that good. just be careful, once you’ve started, i can guarantee you won’t stop… & then you’ll have to find a new use for the pie crust you spent all afternoon baking.
homemade apple pie filling
2 1/2 cups white sugar
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tb. lemon juice
5 cups of apple juice
5 cups of waters
6-8 pounds of peeled, sliced fresh apples
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, PEEL, CUT & CORE apples using one of those-dancy apple-cutter-corer-do-hickeys & place fruit into a large bowl with a solution of 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to about 1 quart of water to avoid discoloration. (be sure to drain the fruit well before packing in jars.)
MIX sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon & nutmeg. add salt, water & apple juice and mix well.
BOIL mixture & cook until thick & bubbly. remove from heat & add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
PACK the already sliced (well-drained) apples into the HOT canning jars, leaving a 1/2 – 3/4 headspace. (& don’t be shy, fill ’em up good!)
LADLE the hot syrup mixture immediately into prepared, apple-filled jars, filling to within 1/2 inch of tops. gently remove air bubbles with a PLASTIC knife, 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 20 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.
* 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.