Canning: Making Applesauce

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We are a homeschooling family here on the Farm and tomorrow we start a new school year! Every year, I decorate my whole house for Fall and pull out all of the family traditions. Fall and Winter in our house are times filled with nostalgia and constancy. My kids (even the grown ones!) love that their world is filled with sights and sounds, smells and tastes that evoke happy and warm memories of years past. I love that, too and nothing says Fall to me more than cooking apples on the stove!

Years ago, a dear friend of mine taught me how to make applesauce for canning. I have even made a batch of applesauce specifically to serve with dinner! Secretly, that’s my favorite way to serve applesauce… warm off the stove with a shake of cinnamon. Yumm…

First things first, always do your part to make sure that you are following safe canning practices. Your equipment, jars and lids should be meticulously clean! Applesauce can be safely canned using the water bath method. Check with your local county extension office for canning times appropriate for your area/elevation. Aside from that, check out the Ball canning website for solid canning advice.

Any apples can be made into applesauce. I prefer sweeter apples like Galas, Pink Lady’s and Fuji. These require no extra sugar and are the most economical considering both time and money.

Experiment with different spices or use no spices at all. Cinnamon, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Cloves… it’s easy to create your own signature applesauce!

I have used this apple peeler/corer/slicer and I’ve also just used the average paring knife. Whichever works best for you is the right choice!

Peel and core your apples and put them in a large stock pot to simmer on the stove. Put a little water in the bottom to prevent scorching. As the apples cook, they will get softer which will make a smoother sauce.

When the apples are easy to mash in the pan, this would be the time to add any spices that you want. When you’ve incorporated the spices, transfer the apples to a blender or food processor and whir them until smooth.

I actually like some texture in my applesauce, so I won’t process them until smooth but rather until all of the big chunks are gone.

Using a canning funnel, pour the applesauce into a sterilized jar leaving an inch of headspace and covering with a sterilized lid and ring. Place them in a water bath canner, heat and process according to the directions found on the Ball website or gleaned from your county extension office. Seriously. It’s that easy. Your house will smell amazing while you’re cooking the apples and you’ll have a shelf of beautiful jars put up for winter-time meals! Happy Fall, y’all!

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