Author – Amanda Christensen
I have great memories of my grandmother’s tasty, home-canned applesauce. I even credit her tart, crisp apples for my love of sour candy! Over the years I’ve tried many store-bought varieties but nothing compares. I now have two apple trees in my backyard and guess what…they produce the most delicious, tart apples!
This time of year apples are ripe and ready for picking and preserving. Here’s a step-by-step guide for the safe home canning of applesauce.
First things first — make sure you have all the right equipment, including ingredients, BEFORE you start. Trust me, this can save you lots of pain and anguish.
Wash, core and quarter apples. Peeling apples is optional, as many of the nutrients are in the peel. I used an apple peeler for this batch because I wanted my applesauce to be as tart as possible.
Cook apples with a tiny bit of water in a saucepot until they are soft.
Puree apples using a food processer, food mill or blender. Add sugar (optional) and return the sauce to a large pot. Bring applesauce to a boil.
Fill hot jars with hot applesauce leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles by sliding a spatula down each side of the jar. Place the lid on the jar and secure the rim.
Place jars in your boiling water bath canner. Be sure water is rapidly boiling before you start your timer. Water should cover the tops of the jars at least 1 inch. Process pints and quarts for 20 minutes.
Remove jars from canner after the 20-minute process time. Allow them to cool and seal on the countertop. Note: if some of your jars do not seal in a 24-hour time period, you can reprocess them but must do so immediately. Otherwise, refrigerate the jars that did not seal and use them first or freeze applesauce in freezer-safe containers. Label your jars and don’t forget the date. Store in a cool, dry place. Correctly canned foods are best if used within one year from the time you canned them. Flavor, color, texture and nutritional value will decline after this time period.
TIP: Remove the rims before storing to prevent rust and corrosion from moisture that may be trapped between the rim and the jar.
Amanda is an Extension assistant professor for Utah State University. She has a master’s degree in consumer sciences from USU and is proud to call herself an Aggie! Amanda loves teaching and enabling individuals and families to make smart money decisions.
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