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The other day, I showed you how to make applesauce in a crockpot. It’s so easy, and great for small batches. But with how delicious homemade applesauce is, why just make 1 batch?? I like to make a bunch at once and can/freeze it. Freezing it is self explanatory – just pour it into some freezer-safe Ziploc bags. But canning requires a bit more work.
For starters, pick your apples! The fresher the apple, the better it will taste. So if you can pick your own, definitely do that! If I use apples from the grocery store, the taste isn’t quite as good, and I have to add a little sugar in. The type of apples you use is completely up to you! Some people like a combo of tart/sweet, but I like just sweet apples (like Empire, Fuji, and Gala) so I don’t need to add in any sugar.
You can also choose to peel the apples or not. I leave little chunks of skin on, because I don’t puree my applesauce (I like it chunky), and I like little pieces of skin in there. If you puree the sauce until it’s smooth, you can actually leave the skins on! They will puree down, and you won’t even notice them! Except they might turn your sauce pink 🙂 To peel the apples, I use an apple peeler. It makes it go so much faster.
While I’m prepping the apples, I run the jars through the dishwasher, so they’re nice and clean.
Quarter and core your apples, and throw them into a big ole pot. Add just enough water to the bottom so they don’t scorch (I added about 1/4 cup for this big batch). While they’re cooking, I set everything else up!
Have one small pan with the lids, simmering. Have a large pot with the freshly washed jars, also simmering. This will sanitize everything, to be sure no bacteria get into your applesauce.
Set up an area where you can set hot jars, and have all your utensils washed and prepped. A simple canning kit is cheap, and includes a funnel, jar grabber, lid magnet, and headspace measurer.
Once the apple are almost done, throw in some spices! You can leave it plain, of course, but I like to add some nutmeg and cinnamon. Once it’s done cooking, mash it up or puree it – to whatever consistency you like best! I use an immersion blender and partially blend it, so there are still chunks of apple. If you’re using a regular blender, do it in small batches. Be super careful, because this stuff is HOT!
Bring the applesauce to a low boil and set out your hot jars. Fill them up with sauce, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top. That just means there needs to be 1/2 inch of empty space between the sauce and the top of the jar. The jagged end of the stick tool measures that 🙂
Then use the stick to get out any bubbles, by pushing it down the sides of the jars, and bringing it to the middle.
Now, use your magnet tool (or tongs) to pull out the lids and place them on the jars. Be sure to wipe down the tops of the jars with a clean rag first, to make sure they’re clean, and there’s nothing to mess up the seal. Screw on the lids, not crazy tight – just as tight as you can get it using your fingertips.
Finally, you need to put your jars in a water bath. That giant black pot I used to sanitize my jars? That’s a canning pot! You can find one HERE. Place your applesauce jars into the pot, making sure the water completely covers the jars, plus 1 inch. Simmer for 20 minutes (or more, depending on altitude), and set your jars out to cool. Leave them alone while they’re cooling, and you’ll hear the lids popping. That’s a good sound, it means your seals worked! Once they’re cool, you should be able to press on the lids and they shouldn’t bounce up and down.
Huzzah! Congratulate yourself. You just canned applesauce. And be sure to never buy store bought applesauce again, because it will be terrible compared to the deliciousness you just made 🙂
- Apples, washed
- Sugar (if needed)
- Peel and core apples, and cut into quarters.
- Place into a large pot, and add just enough water to prevent the apples from burning to the bottom - about ¼ - ½ cup.
- Cook apples on medium/medium-low for about 45 minutes, or until soft, stirring occasionally.
- In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add spices - if desired. I use ¼ tsp nutmeg and ½ tsp cinnamon per 12 apples. But you can add as much as you want!
- Once the apples are done, use an immersion blender to blend to your desired consistency. If using a regular blender, do it in small batches, and be very careful!
- Add sugar to taste, if needed, and bring sauce to a low boil.
- Ladle hot applesauce into sanitized jars, and secure lids until "fingertip tight".
- Process in water bath for 20 minutes, and set jars aside to cool.