Just when I thought I was done canning for the season, I managed to round up 30-some lbs of apples off of a friend’s tree. As it’s late in the season, they’re not the most crisp, juicy, or sweet apples, but they’re definitely good enough to make Applesauce and Apple Butter with!
I did two batches of applesauce, and got 8 pints from about 20 lbs of apples. Now I have a lot left still to make one or two batches of Apple Butter!
It will be really nice to be able to pull out a jar of homemade Applesauce this winter to have with some dinners.
I used my favorite book on preserving, Williams-Sonoma Art of Preserving that I’ve mentioned on previous posts. Making and canning Applesauce is pretty simple, it’s totally my kind of canning project. =)
(adapted from The Art of Preserving, adjusted to my liking, to yield 4 pint jars)
1/2 – 3/4 c. fresh lemon juice
10-12 lbs apples (varieties like MacIntosh or Pink Lady are great)
1/2 – 3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 T ground cinnamon, if using
Place fresh lemon juice in a large non-reactive saucepan, then add in all the chopped/cored apples. Stir to coat with lemon juice, add in a little water if needed so they don’t stick to bottom of pan while cooking. Stir in the sugar and cover. Heat over high to bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for about 20 min., stirring often, til apples are tender. Remove lid and simmer a few more minutes.
Use a food mill or course sieve set over a large bowl and push softened apples through, then add the smooth apple mixture back to the pan. Cook on medium for about 5 min. until hot. It will thicken during cooking, add in a little water to adjust consistency if desired, and take into account that the applesauce will thicken a little during the processing.
Have hot, sterilized jars ready to be filled. Have lids setting in a small pot, pour in hot water from the tea pot, you can keep these lids over low heat until you seal the jars.
When the applesauce is simmering and very hot, ladle into jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Remove any air bubbles/big air pockets in jar, adjust headspace, wipe rims of jar, place warm lid on jar, then twist the ring on to seal somewhat tight.
Process the jars for 20 minutes. Adjust processing time for higher altitude, + 1 min. for every 1k’ elevation. Remove jars from water bath, leave undisturbed in a cool dry place. Test seals the next day. Enjoy within a year.
Some of you may think, “why go to so much work just for applesauce??”. Well, it makes the house smell so yummy, and there’s just something great about pulling out jars of summer/Fall produce from your pantry on the cold days of winter. It’s good experience too, now I have applesauce under my belt. And why would I want all those apples on my friend’s tree to go to be left and not turned into something yummy? =)
Even if you don’t do any canning, this is a great thing to make at home with a bunch of apples, so easy and very worth it. And now there’s Apple Butter to be made and preserved!