What I have noticed about canning fruits and veggies in large batches is that it sounds like a wonderful idea, until you are tired and overwhelmed and your kitchen is a sticky mess! Then, finally, when you see your mason jars filled to the brim, sealed, and lined up nicely on your shelves, you think, “That wasn’t so bad!” It is a pretty predictable cycle in our household. Last year, we made about a 1/2 bushel of apples into applesauce, and by Christmas, it was nearly gone! I was really excited to see my siblings enjoying it on Thanksgiving! We decided to double our batch this year- well almost. By the time we got around to canning, a few apples had made their way into our tummies and into an apple crumble. My husband was a life saver and pitched in to help. We split our batches into two days so as not to get too overwhelmed, and because we only have one large pot!
When it comes to making applesauce, you have several different options. You can make it on the stove, for a decidedly quick process, or you can put it in the crockpot and then move on with your day. When I taught preschool, my class loved making crockpot applesauce, and it made the classroom smell fantastic…which is not always the case in a preschool classroom during potty training time! Once your apples are cooked, you can mash them with a potato masher, or you can let them cool a bit and then blend them for even smoother results. Once you’ve made applesauce once, you know how to do it and can make it according to your taste.
You can also use your applesauce within a few days, can the applesauce and seal the jars in a hot water bath, or you can freeze the applesauce in a small, airtight container.
I’m going to share how we made a smaller batch of our applesauce, because I realize not everyone has the time or inclination to can a bushel of applesauce! However, if you are feeling extra ambitious, you can use the ratio and increase the recipe. Also feel free to season your applesauce according to your taste!
Applesauce (yields 1 and 1/2 pints)
10 Apples, peeled and cut up
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons of sugar
2 Teaspoons of cinnamon
Add all of your ingredients to a pot and cook, covered, on medium heat for about 25 minutes or until the apples are soft. I think they may have been done sooner but I was too busy watching The Walking Dead to notice. If you saw Sunday night’s episode: How could they???
Once your apples are soft, mash them with a potato masher for a slightly chunky applesauce.
A large pot
If you are interested in making a larger batch and canning- we basically tripled our recipe, which yielded about 5 pints. Its a little frustrating how much apples cook down! While you are cooking the applesauce, heat enough water to cover the jars by one inch.
Add your apple sauce to the jars, and run a knife or chopstick along the inside of the jars to break up air bubbles. Make sure the rims are clean and carefully put on the tops (use an oven-mitt because the applesauce is hot!) Once the water in your big pot is boiling, add your jars to the hot water bath. Leave them in there for 15 minutes. Using a canning jar lifter, remove the jars and let them cool.
I hope you make and enjoy some delicious applesauce this fall season!