A few things to consider are:
- About 21 pounds of apples makes a 7 quart canner load. An average of 13.5 pounds makes a 9 pint canner load. A bushel weighs 48 pounds and yields 14 to 19 quarts of applesauce.
- For best results use apples that are sweet, juicy and crisp.
Wash, peel, and core apples (with my food strainer, you don't need to peel or core them - saves a ton of time!). If desired, slice apples into water containing ascorbic acid (I use a dissolved 500 mg vitamin C tablet per gallon of water) to prevent browning.
Placed drained slices in an 8 to 10-quart pot. Add 1/2 cup water. Stirring occasionally to prevent burning, heat quickly until tender (5 to 20 minutes, depending on maturity and variety). I usually steam mine in a steamer for about 20 minutes or until very soft. Press through a sieve or food mill, or skip the pressing step if you prefer chunk-style sauce. I use the Roma food strainer:
Sometimes if the applesauce is really runny (from really juicy apples), I strain out some of the juice in the applesauce before canning with a really fine strainer and the kids love to drink it as apple cider (and the adults too).
Sauce may be packed without sugar. If desired, add 1/8 cup sugar per quart of sauce (it's really not necessary!). Taste and add more, if preferred. Reheat sauce to a rolling boil. Be careful because sauce splatters (I've got a few burns on my hands this year from splattering applesauce). Also it can burn on the bottom if heated too fast. I recommend heating it very slowly, stirring often and be very careful of the splatters. Fill jars with hot sauce, leaving 1/2-inch headspace (or more). Adjust lids and process according to times below (based on your current elevation).
15 min (0-1,000 ft) 20 min (1,001-3,000 ft)
20 min (3,001-6,000 ft) 25 min (Above 6,000 ft)
20 min (0-1,000 ft) 25 min (1,001-3,000 ft)
30 min (3,001-6,000 ft) 35 min (Above 6,000 ft)