Monday, October 25, 2010

Applesauce and Canning

My mother came to visit a few weeks ago and I asked her to show me how to can applesauce.

I was a bit scared but I wanted to have applesauce for my bread recipes. I grew up watching my mother and her sisters can every summer. They did peaches mainly. I remember thinking it was just not worth it. It took all day and it looked really hard. Now I realize that it was probably fun for my mom and aunts. They got to spend time together, talk about their families and with all of them there it really wasn't hard, just time consuming. I also have learned that money is precious, so why waste it when you can get something cheaper. A very good lesson. Thanks Mom!

I had a ton of fun making these and I want to share it with you guys. It was really not that hard and I plan on doing it again...alone!

Doesn't that look yummy! I love applesauce, and homemade applesauce is even better!

Here is my oldest trying to be silly.

And my middle child as well. He is concentrating very hard...
We ended up picking apples at our local orchard for $1.00 a pound. Not bad, and fun too! My mom and I think we picked about 35 lbs.

So let's get started.
Clean your kitchen sink and surrounding counters VERY well.
Wash your apples.

With this method (my moms) we cut the apples in quarters, leaving the skin and core.
Keep reading for other methods.

Put about an inch of water in the bottom of a heavy (no cheap pots) soup pot with a lid. We used about three pots and had them all cooking at the same time. The water will keep the apples from burning to the bottom.

Fill to the top. Cover and bring to a boil. Not too high, above medium temp.

Cook till they turn soft.

My mom brought her ANCIENT apple masher. It takes the good stuff and the bad stuff and separates them. Her is my mom pushing the apples through the separator.

Good stuff out the front and bad stuff (skin, seeds, core) off the the side.

It already tastes yummy!
Now at this point I want to tell you how to do this if you don't have an ancient apple separator.
  • Wash your apples
  • Peel your apples
  • Core your apples
  • Slice your apples into chunks (you can do the coring and the chunking with one of those fun apples slicer things. They are only a few bucks at the store and are great for fast snacks)
  • Cook the apples as I did above OR put them into your crock pot and cook them all day:

Crock pot Recipe:

10-12 apples (medium to large in size)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Cook on low for about 8 hours.

  • when they are super soft use a masher and mash them to bits
  • Put into your food processor or blender to puree to your liking
Lets add some good stuff! Sugar and cinnamon to taste (skip this if you did the crock pot method).
You can also add water to make it thinner if you want.
This 9x13 was full to the top, about 18 cups applesauce. It took about 30 apples to make this pan. We added 1 1/2 cups sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.

Take your SUPER CLEAN mason jars and rings (wash on high heat in the dishwasher while you are cooking the apples). I used wide mouth jars. Fill the jars to the top of the bend/first line of rings.
Do this while your applesauce is still hot. If it has cooled, or you left this part for later, then reheat your applesauce on the stove before canning.

Here is a better picture.

Clean the sides and the very top rim of the jars VERY well. This will help the seal stick.

Boil your new lids. Follow the directions on the package. When done remove one at a time, be careful not to touch the red part. Quickly put the lid on the CLEAN jar.

Screw on your lid. Do not make it tight. Really loose is best.

This is a caner. They cost about $18 bucks at Walmart. A great investment if you plan on doing this more than once. This is my moms. My mother in law didn't use hers anymore and gave hers to me. SCORE!
Fill water in the caner.

Place your jars very carefully in the slots of the wire rack. Slowly let the rack go to the bottom of the caner pot. Make sure the water goes over the tops of the lids. Bring water to a boil and then boil for 20 minutes, then remove the jars very carefully and place on several layers of towels (or placemats in my case).

Use the special lifer device that comes in the caner pot. Let cool. You may hear the lids pop but I never heard mine. This tells you the seal took and your jars are sealed. (if you don't hear it it doesn't mean it didn't work) I was very disappointed that I didn't hear the pop, oh well...
All done! Yummy applesauce.
I made 15 wide mouth jars this day with my mom. I am quite proud of myself. Canning really isn't that bad. It is a time consuming project but it is really not that hard and it can save you money.
Give it a try!
If you have yummy canning recipes please send them to me. I will post them for everyone to see.

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  1. Thank you for sharing your experience and great 'how to' I could understand. I just paid over $6.00 for 5 apples at the store....OUCH! I will head to the orchard (find it) and see what happens ;-)

  2. What scrumptious looking applesauce; warm home-cooked applesauce is such a delight in the cold winter months!

    You asked for good canning recipes, and I thought I'd just leave a link to my website. Here it is:

    Anyway, I share a lot of good canning recipes and advice on my site, and thought that you or others might find it helpful!

    Thanks again for sharing your canning project with us - what fun!


  3. That is awesome! I would love to do this. I am super excited to try. Thanks for linking up to Tuesday Tell All.

  4. I am excited to see that the way you can is the same way I have, only I have canned strawberry jam, that's it! I will def. try apple sauce very soon, what apples are best to use?

  5. Jenna:
    I used Granny Smith because they happened to be at the orchard. You are in Vegas? I went to Gilcrese Orchard in North Vegas. Depending on the time of year they alway have apples I think. If you use a tarter apple you just have to add more sugar. Sweet apples don't need as much. You just have to go by taste. Thanks for asking! Chelsea


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