Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Canning: Part 4 - Applesauce

Applesauce is not the easiest thing to can, but worth it if you have tons of apples. I love the fact that you can make very sweet applesauce that is so good it doesn't need any added sugar (at least I never add any). The quality of applesauce really depends on the quality of your apples and what kind you use. Some kinds are better than others. We really like Golden Delicious Apples for applesauce, but have used other kinds that are good too. Some varieties are better than others so try a couple to see what you like best - or better yet, try a mixture.

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.
Here's the process for canning applesauce. The source for this is here.

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).

Processing Times:
Hot Pints
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)
Hot Quarts
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)


Trisha said...

Thanks Heather!
I can't wait to try it:)

NoSurfGirl said...

SOMEDAY I will have a HUGE kitchen and will be canning lots and lots of fruit/veggies.

My mother told me that there's a way to can fruits like pears/peaches without using sugar... something about using the puree of the fruit instead. Have you every tried anything like that? The ONE thing I don't like about the idea of canning is all the sugar involved :/

Heather said...

Yeah actually you can can (ha ha) most any fruits without sugar using just the regular recipes. The problem is if you use water, the sugar from the fruit you are canning leaches out into the water (until the sugar levels in the fruit and water come into balance). So most people add sugar to keep the sugar in the fruit. If that makes sense. But another great way is to use natural fruit juice instead of sugar water. I've made some no sugar peach jam that way using white grape juice as the sweetener. It turned out really good and C loves it especially. He won't eat the real kind. He loves unsweetened.

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