Do you know that apples will keep for a very long time? However, they don’t last forever. We bought a bushel of apples through 4H a couple of months ago and filled up a little apartment-sized refrigerator with them. They were holding up pretty well for the longest time but then they started to get soft, and we lost a few. So, I decided to empty the refrigerator and put up some applesauce. Besides, it’s sausage making time, and I’m going to need that refrigerator.
Applesauce is one of the easiest things to can. Most recipes will tell you to use tart cooking apples like Granny Smith apples. However, if all you have is a refrigerator full of aging Empire apples, use them! The sauce is wonderfully sweet without one bit of sugar!
By the way, you don’t need an abundance of apples to make a little applesauce to serve with some pork chops or to give to your hungry kids for a snack. Wash, peel, core, and slice a couple of apples, add a little water and simmer on medium heat until soft. Mash with a potato masher for chunky applesauce or whirl in a food processor or blender for smooth. Add sugar, honey, or cinnamon as desired. Serve warm or chill in the refrigerator to serve cold.
12 pounds tart cooking apples
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ - 3 cups sugar (optional)
Wash, core, and quarter apples.
Place apples in large stock pot with ½ cup water and lemon juice. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until apples are tender. Depending on the variety of apple this should take 5-20 minutes.
Press apples through food mill to crush and remove peels.
Add sugar, if needed, stirring to dissolve completely. The amount of sugar will depend on the tartness of the apples and your personal preferences. I usually don’t add any sugar.
Reheat to boiling.
Fill hot, sterilized jars with hot sauce, leaving ½ inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process in a boiling-water bath canner for 20 minutes for both pints and quarts. Remove jars from canner; cool on racks.
As always, when canning, be sure you are familiar with all basic canning procedures to ensure safe canning practices. Cool jars completely and check seals before storing.
To make apple sauce without a food mill, peel the apples before cooking and push through a sieve for smooth applesauce or simply mash with a potato masher for a chunkier sauce.
My favorite canning resources for both the beginner and the experienced canner are:
Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving, by US Department of Agriculture
Complete Book of Home Preserving, by Ball
Canning & Preserving, by Better Homes and Gardens
Pick Your Own Farms website
Thanks for stopping by! Strawberry season will be upon us soon here in Florida. I think I need to empty the last of my strawberries out of the freezer before I fill it up again. Should I make jam or wine?? Decisions, decisions!
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,