How to Make Applesauce - For Fresh Use, Freezing, or Canning: An Illustrated Guide
Tart, Sweet, and Delicious
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 really a simple process. The main thing to watch is that you obtain apples that are good for baking - tart, juicy, luscious. 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.
The things you will need for making applesauce are few and simple:
- Suitable, baking-type apples (tart, juicy)
- Sugar, to taste
- Spices, if desired (try cinnamon, ground cloves, grated nutmeg)
- A paring knife, for cutting the apples into chunks, and/or peeling them (peeling is only necessary if you do not have a food mill to separate the skins from the pulp, later)
- A large pot, for cooking the apples
- Canning jars, lids and rings, a jar lifter, tongs, a small cake pan or saucepan for simmering lids
- A canning funnel (has a wider mouth than normal)
- Boiling waterbath canner, or steam canner
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.
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