Making and canning applesauce is super easy, and home made applesauce is REALLY tasty. I learned how to can in a high school cooking class, and I love that I did. Interestingly, I did this last night, and today I noticed this post on how to can peaches. Now I really want some peaches...
What you will need:
- apples (any kind you like, but this is a good way to use baking apples)
- sugar. How much will depend on how sweet your apples are and your tastes. Usually 1 tbsp per apple is about right.
- lemon juice
- canning jars
- a big pot
- tongs or silicone gloves
***Update*** Some fabulous person had their applesauce recipe on Craftster and they used BROWN sugar. Now why didn't I think of that??
First, you make the applesauce:
Peel, core, and slice the apples. As you cut them, put them in a bowl of cold, salted water to keep them from turning brown.
Put the apples in a big pot with about 1 tbsp of water per apple. Cook at a low temperature with the lid on, stirring occasionally to see if they are tender. It will take around 15 minutes, but could be more or less depending on the kind of apples.
Once they are tender, remove them from the heat. Taste the applesauce for sweetness and add as much sugar as you want. It's really nice to just make applesauce with sweeter apples and not have to add any sugar!
Now it's time to sterilize your canning jars, or you could do this while the apples are cooking. Place the jars, lids, and rings in a pot of warm, but not hot water. Just a word of warning - putting cold glass jars in hot water will make them crack!
Bring the water to a boil and start timing. Boil the jars for 15 minutes, then remove them with your tongs or heat-proof gloves and put them on a tea-towel to dry.
Fill the jars with warm applesauce to about 1/2" from the top - no more no less. If there is too much or too little air, they will not seal properly. Run a knife around the edge of the jar to get rid of any air bubbles, then top each jar of applesauce with about 1 tsp lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
Next, wipe the rim of the jar to get rid of any applesauce. Place the flat part of the lid on top of the jar, then screw on the ring just finger tight. Don't tighten them too much!
Place the jars in a pot of warm (not hot) water. There should be enough water to cover the jars by about an inch. Bring the water to a boil and boil for about 15 minutes, then remove the jars with tongs or silicone gloves.
I seriously can't stress how awesome these gloves are. There's no fumbling around in the hot water - you just stick your hands in and get the job done! You can't leave your hands in there forever, as they will get warm after about 10 seconds, but for quick jobs they are perfect!
Anyhow, when you remove the jars, put them back on the tea-towel and let them cool overnight - check the seal in the morning. You shouldn't be able to easily remove the flat lid, and it should be slightly concave (bending in). Screw the lids on tightly at this point.
Label your jars with the date and whatever else you want, and you're done! They should stay in the cupboard for a long time, and you have a tasty apple treat any time of the year! You will probably have to pierce the lid to break the seal and remove it, but you can buy whole boxes of replacement lids and just re-use the rings and jars. I usually have trouble keeping enough of mine to actually can...