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The peak of apples season is just around the corner. Depending on the variety of apples available to you, you may find them plentiful now. You can pick your own or purchase them in quantity for a good price. There are so many wonderful things you can make with apples to consume now, or to preserve for later. If your family eats applesauce like mine does, applesauce will be at the top of the to make list.
Making applesauce is very easy. It really is just cooked mushed apples. If you are making quantities to preserve, it does take a bit of time, but is a simple process. A good firm, slightly tart variety of apple make the best sauce in my opinion. Transparents are wonderful, but I usually have more Golden Delicious available to me, and that is what I use.
First quarter the apples. No need to peel or core. Place them in a large pot with enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Cook on medium high heat. Be sure to stir periodically and to scrape the bottom. A little bit of scorching will change the flavor of the whole batch. When the apples are very mushy, they are ready to be processed.
A Sauce Master makes quick work of the apples producing a nice thick sauce and removing all the seeds and peels. If you don't have a Sauce Master, the cooked apples can also be pushed through a sieve to remove the unwanted parts. Alternatively, apples can be peeled and cored before cooking. They will cook to a mush with stirring.
Applesauce freezes and cans well. To freeze, sweeten the sauce if desired, and fill containers; freezer boxes, jars, or even recycled containers like yogurt ones work well. Be sure to leave plenty of head space (about an inch) for the sauce to expand as it freezes.
To can the applesauce, heat the sauce and sweeten if desired. Pack into clean hot jars, and put lids on. My canning book recommends 1/2 inch head space. I've found that an inch head space really works better. Jars can be sealed with a pressure canner or in boiling water. Pressure can at 6 pounds pressure, 8 minutes for pints and 10 minutes for quarts. Or process in boiling water 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts.
The biggest problem I have had with canning apple sauce is the jars oozing out apple sauce when I removed them from the pressure canner. The jars still seal. The sauce is still good, but it makes a big sticky mess. Here are some tips to help avoid that problem:
- Leave extra head space.
- Make the sauce a bit thinner.
- Let the jars cool longer in the canner. It seems to be the sudden temperature change that causes the oozing. Letting the jars cool slowly has been the best fix for the problem.
Apple Ginger Preserves
Crockpot Apple Butter
Apple Cider Vinegar
Canning Sliced Apples
Apple Pie Filling
Don't forget to enter our Nakano Giveaway. Win $35 gift card, Nakano seasoned rice vinegar, and a recipe booklet. Drawing is tomorrow.
Stephanie is a mom, homeschooler, homesteader in the hills of West Virginia. Find more of her adventures at Adventures in the 100 Acre Wood.
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