I think applesauce is probably one of the easiest things ever to can.
There are lots of different way to make applesauce, this is how I’ve done it and my kids both ask for it constantly. I have the fruit and vegetable strainer attachment for my kitchenaid mixer and that is the only reason I have been able to make this much applesauce without going completely nuts. I can’t recommend it highly enough! I got it from ebay for super cheap. LOVE it.
Anyway here is what I do:
Remove the hard stem of the apple. Using an apple slicer/corer (I have this one and it’s great. Don’t get a cheap one, you will get blisters!) cut up all of your apples and throw them into the biggest pot you have. I usually fill the pot about 1/4 full and add some fruit fresh first to keep them from going brown.
Fill up your pot…
I add water as I go; just enough to barely cover the apples.
Cook your apples on medium high heat until they are just fork tender. I try not to cook mine too much, we don’t want to cook all the good stuff out!
This is where my wonderful, handy, strainer comes in. Trust me… after putting 60 lbs of tomatoes through my SIL’s food mill I can tell you first hand this strainer is a God send!
This is what my set up looks like:
Hmm. That’s really small. You’ll have to click on it if you can’t read the words. Also, I’m reasonably confident that the correct term for what comes out of the strainer isn’t apple poop but that’s what we call it.
Now you just turn on your mixer and start pushing apples through! Technically you could strain them (DON’T get rid of the water though!!!) and start a new pot cooking but I just let mine sit in the water and scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Here’s what it looks like from my point of view.
There really isn’t much more to in than that. You push the apples through and they come out the other end as sauce.
For the most part I don’t add anything to my applesauce. Some people add cinnamon but I always add it after, when I am going to use it. I have added non-pasteurized honey a couple times when I was using tart apples but that’s all.
-leave LOTS of headspace. More than you think you need. For quart jars I generally fill up to the bottom of my canning funnel and then lid them. Applesauce expands a lot during processing and it gets messy if you don’t leave enough headspace.
-I often run the ‘apple poop’ through the strainer a second time. It seems to really cut down on the waste and it really helps to thicken up the sauce.
-cooking your apples until they are just soft enough to go through the strainer yields a much thicker sauce than cooking them until they are mushy. Running the poop through also thickens up the sauce considerably.
-I didn’t do a canning tutorial, there are lots of good ones out there but make sure you are using hot jars and lids and processing them for long enough.
And last but not least:
That water you cooked the apples in? Save it!!! My kids love this. We don’t drink juice in our house at all so they think this is the biggest treat ever. You might need to add a little extra water between batches but the more batches of apples you cook in it the stronger it gets.