I’ve been canning my little heart out lately with my mother’s help and I’m exhausted but looking forward to enjoying the fruits of our labor. You should know, my mother is an expert and has been doing this for years, but as for me, I am a novice. And, I’m happy to say that with help (or a Ball Blue Book in hand) you can do this even if you’ve never tried it before! I’ve already told you about my jelly making endeavors, so now I share another canning method with you!
You might be asking yourself: ” Why on Earth would someone want to can their own applesauce when you can buy it readily at the store?” Well, I have a couple of answers. First, I believe that we are being good stewards of what we were given, letting nothing go to waste. With some effort on our end we were able to make lots of apple goodness from the same batch of apples (apple sauce, apples for pies and other cooking, and apple jelly) with little or no cost. Second, apples are one of the dirty foods – loaded with pesticides. I buy them organic and this includes apple products like apple sauce and apple juice. Organic foods are costly and by giving only time and energy (no money) I was able to make TONS of organic apple sauce (and other things) to feed my family instead of purchasing them. Judah loves apple sauce and it makes a dent in my grocery budget at nearly $3 per jar for organic apple sauce. We made 18 jars of apple sauce (along with 20 bags of frozen apples for pies and cooking, juice for making jelly, and a big bag of apples in the fridge for eating). This will save a bundle over time. Just the apple sauce alone is a cost savings of about $54. And my final answer, it feels rewarding to feed your family something homemade – and of course it is delicious!
So on to the how-to:
Wash, core, and cut the apples into quarters. (I used this Calphalon Apple Corer and it worked beautifully through BUSHELS of apples). Place cores in a bowl of water with a little lemon juice to use for jelly later.
Simmer the apples in a small amount of water, covered, until tender. Place apples into a ricer over a bowl or large pot a little at a time and press them through until all of the “meat” of the apples is in the pot/bowl. Add the leftover skins to the bowl with the cores to boil later for juice for jelly making if desired. Continue until you’ve riced all the apples. Keep the boiling water and you can reuse it to boil the skins and cores to extract apple “juice” for jelly making.
To sweeten the apple sauce add sugar to your taste. I used about a cup for a full 5 quart pot of apple sauce. Pour hot apple sauce into hot jars leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar. I wash my jars in the dish washer on a hot cycle just before I’m ready to can. I leave them in the dishwasher so that jars will be warm when I’m ready to use them.
Wipe off the jars to remove any apple sauce from the rim and sides of the jars. Place sterile lids on jars and then screw on bands. Place filled jars into boiling water bath for 20 minutes to seal jars. Take jars out of the water and allow jars to cool and lids to seal (they will not be sealed at first). Store in a cool, dark, dry place.