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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Canning: Applesauce

Mmmm.....applesauce. I love applesauce! I prefer unsweetened applesauce with no cinnamon. Pure unadulterated heaven! Gravensteins are in season and I did my research and they're supposedly great for applesauce. They're a little tarty apple (in a good way). Since I'd rather not add too much sugar if I don't have to, I decided to use a naturally sweet apple and mix them to create the best applesauce ever!! I used my favorite fresh eating apple, the Fuji. I used a ratio of 1/3 tart to 2/3 sweet apples. It was perfect for me. You may want to experiment and adjust to your own taste. I made both unsweetened and sweetened applesauce with the above Gravenstein/Fuji ratios.

One note though, this recipe makes 4-6 pints of sauce. It depends on whether you like your applesauce thick or a little thinner. My first batch was thick (used only about 2 c. water) and make 4 pints. The next few batches made a consistency that I liked and canned about 6 pints (using 3 c. water) per recipe.

I would suggest you investing in an apple corer/segmenter (see below). It will make the chopping so much easier. Also if you can, invest in a good food mill such as a Roma or Villa brand or an attachment for your Kitcheaid mixer. These made the work go so much faster!!

I used the instructions at www.pickyourown.org. See that site for more information.


Applesauce
Makes: 4-6 pints



2.5 lb Fuji apples
5 lb Gravenstein apples
2-3 c. water
1/4 c. sugar or more (optional)

1) Start by placing your mason jars in the dishwasher and washing them. Allow them to stay in the dishwasher (and stay warm) until you're able to use them. Bring your large hot water bath to a boil over high heat.

2) Wash your apples under cold water.


3) Using an apple corer/segmenter, chop all of your apples into slices and place them in a large bowl. Pick over the slices and using a paring knife, cut out any seeds or stems and any obviously bruised sections. Don't bother peeling the skin. Also, don't worry if your apples start turning brown. You'll cook them anyway.



4) Place the apples in a large pot. Add 2-3 cups of water to the pot (add 2 c. for a thicker applesauce and 3 cups for a thinner sauce). Be sure your pot is large enough to accommodate all the apples and still have room for you to toss them. Cover the pot with a lid and heat the apples on high. When the apples really start to boil, reduce your heat to medium high and continue cooking for about 20-30 minutes or until the apples are soft throughout. Stir often enough to prevent burning the bottom of the pot.

5) Turn off the heat on the stove and remove your pot. Your apples should look like this.

6) Set up your food mill.
7) Spoon the cooked apples a little at a time into the hopper of the food mill and use the plastic plunger to push the apples into the grinder. The applesauce with be pressed out and the skins and other pieces will come out the side.


8) Pour the applesauce back into the large pot. Taste your applesauce. If it's too thick, add some more water. If it's not sweet enough, add sugar by about 1/4 cups at a time. Stir well and taste again. You can also add cinnamon to taste. If you add anything to the applesauce, put it back on the store and bring to a boil again before pouring into jars.

If you didn't add anything else to the applesauce, you don't need to reheat the warm applesauce.

9) Place your metal lids in hot water for about 5 minutes or until you're ready to use them.

10) Remove your jars from the dishwasher and fill the with the applesauce. Use a non-metal knife or a small spatula and run it against the inside edges of the jar to dislodge any air bubbles that may have formed. Continue to fill the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top. Wipe the rims and tops of your jars. Cap the jars with a two piece lid system.
11) Place your jars in the hot water bath (be sure to allow 1 inch of water to cover the jar tops). Boil pint jars for 15 minutes and quart jars for 20 minutes. (Note: If you live at an altitude of 1000 feet or more, you will need to add additional time to your hot water bath. See chart at www.pickyourown.org for more information).
12) After they are done, remove the jars from the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free location overnight. In the morning, test your seals by pressing down in the middle of the can. If the lids spring back and make a clicking sound, the jars have not sealed.

**Applesauce that is canned will last 18-24 months on the shelf.**

**Linking up to Allison's Apple Harvest**

4 comments:

Allison at Novice Life said...

Thanks for linking up to the Apple Harvest Party!

I need to get cracking on some sauce making as well. I am with you, I don't like it too sweet and these apples sound like the perfect combo!

And your post reminds me that I REALLY need a food mill :)

~Holly~ said...

Allison: Thanks! Now I have a question for you. Do you add lemon juice to your applesauce? I was reading that they're now suggesting it but I didn't do it. What's your take? You MUST get a food mill. It makes it sooo much easiler! I powered through 4 batches of applesauce with it's help!

Rachel said...

Looks delicious!

~Holly~ said...

Rachel: Thanks for visiting!!