Canning Goodness: Homemade Applesauce

PUBLISHED ON: 11.23.2012

We can get fresh apples from as far south as North Georgia. While spending time in North Georgia this year,  I took advantage of the opportunity to score a few bushels of apples from the local orchard.

Before departing, I also scored this apple peeler on Amazon.  You have to be prepared when you arrive home with “bleep” load of apples.  You can peel, core and slice apples all day with this nifty gadget.  My husband taking note of the purchase, just shakes his head.  My response is always the same “I could be in the bars” He laughs.

 Since starting our garden I have developed a deep respect and appreciation for preserving foods. 
I am learning how to home preserve foods and I do my best to keep it simple. Making applesauce is a good start, it is easy to prepare and preserve. 
Homemade Applesauce
Recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Makes about eight pint (500 ml) jars or four quart (1 liter) jars

Note:  If you prefer a tart flavor use half tart and half sweet apples when making applesauce and reduce the quantity of sugar as desired.

Ingredients:
12-lbs apples, peeled, cored, quartered, treated to prevent browning (note: you can submerge fruit in a 1/4 cup (50 ml) of lemon juice and 4 cups water (1 Liter)

Water
3 cups (750 ml) granulated sugar (optional)
4  (60 ml) tablespoons lemon juice
Directions:
1. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
2.  In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine apples with just enough water to prevent sticking.  Bring to a boil over medium high-heat.  Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 20 minutes, until apples are tender (time will depend upon the variety of apple and their maturity).  Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3.  Working in batches, transfer apples to a food mill or a food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree until smooth.
4.  Return apple puree to saucepan.  Add sugar, if using, and lemon juice; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.  Maintain a gentle boil over low heat while filling jars.
5.  Ladle hot applesauce into hot jars, laving 1/2-inch (1 cm) headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot applesauce.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
6.  Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to boil and process both pint (500 ml) and quart (1L) jars for 20 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
Variations:
Spiced Applesauce: In step 4, add 4 teaspoons (20 ml) ground spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice, to the sauce with the sugar and lemon juice.
Chunky Applesauce: In step 4, coarsely crush half of the cooked apples and puree the remainder.  Combine before adding the sugar.
Enjoy!

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