Making and preserving homemade applesauce is an easy process requiring only basic canning equipment, a large stockpot and a box of pint canning jars.
Kids and adults love homemade applesauce recipe. One taste and they will never go back to commercial applesauce. Homemade applesauce makes a delicious side dish for any meal. Mix sweet and tart apples for a more complex flavor.
Prep time: 20 min.
Cooking time: 50 min.
Servings: 8 (16 oz.) pints
Preserving Method: Water bath Canning
12 lbs. apples, quartered, treated to prevent browning and drained (about 36 medium apples)
1 cup water
3 cups granulated sugar (optional)
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
8 16 oz. pint glass canning jars with lids and bands
1. Wash, stem and quarter the apples. Do not core or peel them. Depending on the size of your stockpot, it may be better to process the apples in batches.
2. Heat water in a boiling water canner or large stockpot. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
3. Cook the apples until soft in a large covered stockpot with just enough water to prevent them from sticking, about 1 cup. Cooking time can be from 5 to 20 minutes. Cook until soft. Remove from heat and let cool, about 5 minutes.
4. Press the cooked apples and juice through a food mill or sieve to separate the seeds, core and peel from the apple pulp.
5. Return the apple pulp to the stockpot. Add the sugar and adjust to taste. Bring apples to a boil and stir to prevent sticking. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Maintain a gentle boil over low heat while filling jars. Ladle the hot applesauce into hot jars leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe the jar rim to remove any applesauce that could prevent a proper lid seal. Center the lid on the canning jar. Apply the band until fit is fingertip tight. Do not over tighten the band.
7. Process the jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for your altitude. Remove the jars from the canner and set aside to cool. Be certain to set the hot jars on a thick dishtowel, not on a cold countertop, to prevent the jars from cracking. Check the lids for a proper seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
Tips and variations
Treat apple slices to prevent browning, apply Ball® Fruit-Fresh® Produce Protector according to the instructions.
Pineapple juice can be used to prevent browning instead of commercial fresh fruit protectors. It will leave a slight pineapple flavor to the applesauce, which I enjoy. An economical alternative to both methods is to submerge cut apples in a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 4 cups water.
If processing the apples in small batches, add ¼ cup of sugar per pound of apples. Three medium sized apples equal a pound.
Sweet eating varieties of apples, such as Golden Delicious, Jonathan or Fuji, may lessen the need for adding sugar.
Adding cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice can make a spiced applesauce. Add the spices during the last 5 minutes of cooking.