We have an apple tree in our neighborhood and everyone loves to go a pick a few apples. Applesauce is a wonderful option for all those apples. We bottle then so we can have applesauce all year round. You don’t have to peel the apples if you like that texture and if you use a food mill the peels don’t go through the mill.
Makes about 8 (16 oz) PINT jars
Mix sweet and tart apples for a unique flavor. I use Gala, but try Honeycrisp, Jonagold or Golden Delicious Varieties. I find Granny Smith too dry. You can make a fourth of the recipe and just eat it and not bottle it, or double the recipe and put into quart bottles.
12 lbs, apples, peeled, cored, quartered (about 36 medium apples) 2 Cups water or apple juice ½ to 1 Cup granulated sugar, or Brown Sugar or no Sugar ¼ Cup lemon juice 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon, optional 8 – (16 oz) PINT glass preserving jars with lids and bands
1. Prepare your boiling water canner. Heat the empty jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids and bands in warm soapy water and rinse well, set bands aside.
2. In a large pot. Combine the apples and water or juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring from the bottom to the top about every 3 minutes or it will burn. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until apples are tender (time will depend upon the variety of apple). Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. Place some of the cooled apples into a food mill, or a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée until desired texture. Continue with remaining apples. Food mills make it a smoother texture, food processor makes a chunkier texture. You can also just mash with a potato masher.
4. Return apple purée to the saucepan. Add sugar to taste, if using, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. (I wear an oven mitt on my hand so as not to get splashed with the hot applesauce.) Maintain a gentle boil over low heat while filling jars.
5. Ladle HOT applesauce into HOT jars leaving 1/2 inch from the top of the jar. Remove air bubbles by sliding a knife down the side of the jar. Wipe the rim clean and put lid onto the jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
6. Process jars in a boiling water canner for pints 20 minutes at 5,000 feet, or 30 minutes for quarts, or adjust for altitude. Remove jars and cool on a rack. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
*To treat apple slices to prevent browning, apply Ball ® Fruit-Fresh ® Produce Protector according to the manufacturer’s instructions or submerge cut apples in a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 4 cups water.