How to Make Applesauce - for Fresh Use, Freezing, or Canning: An Illustrated Guide
Tart, Sweet, and Delicious
Which Apples Should I Use?
Homemade applesauce is among life's most pleasurable tastes. It has many uses beyond a simple dessert or side dish, and can be a very healthy substitute for part of the fat (oils) in baked goods.
Making applesauce can be a bit time consuming, but is a simple process. The most important thing is that you obtain apples that are good for baking - tart, juicy, luscious. A mixture of varieties is best. Tart and sweet kinds, having also different textures, will provide you with a sauce which is a little chunky and very flavorful.
If you have apples from your own tree, and prefer to put away a quantity for fresh eating, you can always postpone your sauce making until some of these have begun to go soft, later in the fall or winter. Soft apples are fine for sauce, as long as their flavor is still good.
Supplies And Ingredients For The Sauce
The things you will need for making applesauce are few and simple:
- Suitable, baking-type apples (tart, juicy) - unless you prefer smoother, sweeter sauces with less character
- Sugar, to taste...or stevia, which works great in aplesauce. Honey or molasses may be used, also, but may require that the sauce be stirred almost constantly.
- Spices and/or herbs, if desired. Try cinnamon, ground cloves, and grated nutmeg. Or, go savory, with sage, hot Chile's, or coriander.
- A paring knife, for cutting the apples into chunks, and/or peeling them (peeling isn't really necessary unless you have no food mill to separate the skins from the pulp, and want a smooth sauce)
- A large pot, for cooking the apples
Supplies For Waterbath Canning
Should you wish to can your finished applesauce, the supplies are as follows:
- Canning jars, lids and rings, a jar lifter, tongs, and a small cake pan or saucepan for simmering lids
- A canning funnel (has a wider mouth than a normal funnel)
- A ladle
- A boiling waterbath canner, or a steam canner
- A heat-resistant surface in a draft-free area, in which to cool your finished jars
Step One - Core And Roughly Chop The Apples To Cook
Step Two - Separate Pulp From Skins (Optional)
Step Three - Prepare Jars And Canning Equipment
Step Four - Fill Jars And Process In A Boiling Waterbath Canner
Troubleshooting: Canning Jars vs. Recycled Jars
Some jars not labeled for home canning can be "recycled" for canning, anyway. But be careful. Many jars today are deliberately sized differently than standard canning jars. Sometimes the mouth of a jar seems to be the same, when in fact it is incrementally larger or smaller. In the photo below is shown what happens if you make a mistake this way. That's a lot of work gone to waste, when you are unable to salvage your sauce!
Also, you run a greater risk of having jars broken in processing, when they are not true canning jars.
What Can Happen If Your Jars Aren't Made For Canning!
What Is The Difference Between "Eating" And "Baking" Apples?
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© 2010 Joilene Rasmussen