How to Make and Can Applesauce
If your family loves applesauce and you have an apple tree in your backyard, this is a no-brainer! If your neighbors have extra apples to share, take them up on their offer or look for sales on apples at your local farmer's market or grocery store.
10 lbs apples
1-2 tsp each of cinnamon, allspice, cloves (optional)
Fill a canning pot 2/3 full of water and bring the water to boil. Gently lower the already-cleaned pint or quart jars into the water, submerge, cover, and boil for 10-15 minutes. This will sterilize the jars.
Wash the apples and cut them into quarters. Remove any worm holes or bruises. Wash the apples again if they need it. Place the apples in a large pot, add 1/2 - 1 cup of water, bring to a boil, lower to simmer, cover and cook until they are soft - about 20-45 minutes. If using optional spices and sweetener, add them to the pot as well. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Remove the jars from the canning pot and set them aside.
When the apples are done, let them cool for 10-15 minutes. Using a food mill*, process the apples to make applesauce.
Place the lids in a bowl that can tolerate boiling water and then pour boiling water over them.
Spoon or ladle the applesauce into the prepared jars. Use a chopstick or knife and tamp the ja on the counter top to remove air pockets.
Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp cloth. Place a hot lid on it and screw down the lid.
Place 7 pint jars onto the canning pot rack. Lower them gently into the boiling water and cover. There should be 1 inch of water above the jars. Keep the temperature high enough so that the water is boiling rapidly.
Boil pint jars for15 minutes if you live at sea level: 20 minutes for quart jars. Boil pint jars for 20 minutes if you live above 6,000 feet and 35 minutes for quart jars.
Use a jar lifter to remove the jars from the hot water when finished. Place on a cooling rack in a draft-free area and let them cool completely.
The lids will ping to seal as they cool. (if you press on the lid and it stays where it is, it is sealed. If it pops back up, it has not sealed.) If a jar does not seal either put the jar in the refrigerator and eat it first or try replacing the lid and boiling the applesauce again.
Store in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
*If you don't have a food mill then peel and core the apples before cooking them. Use a potato masher, food processor or hand blender to turn the apples into sauce.
Using several different kinds of apples will broaden the flavor of the applesauce.