Thursday, October 4, 2012

Applesauce for Canning

The basic idea behind making applesauce is to cook the apples, mush them up, and get rid of the skins and cores somewhere along the way. If you have a food mill or strainer, you can cook the apples before getting rid of the skin and cores. The strainer does the work of peeling and coring. Otherwise, you must peel and core apples prior to cooking. When canning applesauce (and any fruit with no additives) you may process in a boiling-water-bath canner.

Canning supplies
Water bath canner (or a very large stock pot with a rack on the bottom)
Canning jars (can be reused)
Canning lids (must be new)
Canning rings (can be reused)
Jar lifter
Large stock pot, or two smaller pots
Food mill, strainer or sharp knife for peeling and coring
Small, clean, damp cloth
Plastic spatula
Cake rack, for cooling

Apples, about 21 pounds for 7 quarts (a mix of tart and sweet varieties)
½ cup of water or apple cider

Fill your canner with water, and add your clean jars. Bring to a boil. Once the jars have boiled for 10 minutes, they are sterile. If this happens before your sauce is ready, just turn it down to low until you are ready to fill your jars.

Wash and quarter the apples, place in large pot or pots, making sure it is not so full that you can’t stir.

Add the water or juice and begin to heat them up. Cover and simmer, but be sure to stir often to prevent sticking. Once the apples are very soft, press them through a food mill or a strainer. If you use apples with a reddish skin, it will have a lovely pink hue!

If you don’t have a food mill or strainer, you will just need to peel and core your apples first. Then once they are soft, you can mash them up with a potato masher. If you want a finer, smoother consistency, you can use a wire whisk after mashing them roughly.

If desired, add sugar and/or cinnamon. Reheat the sauce to just boiling, stirring often. Fill sterilized, hot jars with hot applesauce, leaving ½ inch head space. Remove air bubbles with a spatula, wipe rim with damp cloth,  place lid on top, and screw on bands, just hand tight.  Lower the jars into the boiling water bath, and process for 20 minutes (start timing after the water starts boiling).  Remove jars and cool on a baking rake. Make sure all the lids have sealed before storing in your cupboard. Enjoy!

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