Canning applesauce is a great way to preserve the delicious taste of fresh apples all year long. Whether you’re an experienced canner or a beginner, making homemade applesauce is a fun and rewarding process.
Homemade applesauce is much cheaper than store-bought and you can really have fun with the flavorings. It is not uncommon to find some new combination of apples, spaces, and even a bit of alcohol going in our slow cooker when apples go on sale for cheap.
Selecting the Apples
The first step to making great applesauce is choosing the right apples. For applesauce, you’ll want to select apples that are firm, juicy, and sweet. Some great varieties for applesauce include Rome, Honeycrisp, and Fuji, but you can use any variety that you like.
It’s important to use apples that are fresh and in good condition. Apples that are bruised or damaged can spoil quickly, so it’s best to avoid using them. You should also rinse the apples thoroughly with cold water and remove any stems or leaves.
Honestly, I will gather any clearance apples from my local produce market and trim off any parts that are in less than great shape before turning he rest into homemade applesauce.
Making homemade applesauce
Once you’ve selected your apples, it’s time to prepare them for cooking. Start by peeling and coring the apples. You can do this with a peeler, corer, and slicer, or you can use a knife to remove the peels and cores.
Next, cut the apples into small pieces and place them in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pot, and then bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the apples simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are soft and tender.
Once the apples are cooked, it’s time to turn them into applesauce. You can do this with a potato masher, a food mill, or a blender, depending on your preference.
If you’re using a potato masher, simply mash the apples until they reach the desired consistency. For a smoother applesauce, you can use a food mill to puree the apples and remove any skins or seeds. If you want an even smoother applesauce, you can use a blender to puree the apples in small batches.
As you’re making the applesauce, you can add sugar, cinnamon, or other spices to taste. Keep in mind that you can always add more spices later, but it’s hard to take them out once they’ve been added, so start with a small amount and taste as you go.
Canning the Applesauce
Now that you’ve made your applesauce, it’s time to can it so you can enjoy it all year long. To can applesauce, you’ll need clean, sterilized jars and lids, as well as a water bath canner.
Start by washing the jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water and rinsing them well. Then, sterilize the jars by boiling them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes. Keep the jars in the hot water until you’re ready to use them.
Next, fill the jars with the hot applesauce, leaving ¼ inch of headspace at the top. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the rims of the jars and remove any food residue.
Place the lids on the jars and screw on the bands fingertip-tight. Then, place the jars in a water bath canner, making sure they are not touching each other or the sides of the canner.
Fill the canner with enough water to cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Bring the water to a gentle boil and process the jars for 20 minutes (or the recommended processing time for your altitude). When the processing time is up, turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the can