THE BEST APPLESAUCE
You may make applesauce with any apples, but to have THE BEST applesauce, you want to be careful to choose apples that make the best sauce. In my book, those are: Golden Delicious, Gravenstein, McIntosh, Jonathan, and Jonagold. There are many, many other great applesauce apples out there that don’t grow in my area – the Willamette Valley in Oregon – so feel free to ask around, and try cooking up a small amount of apples you have and see how you like it.
MAKE THE APPLESAUCE
This recipe makes about 1/2 to one gallon of sauce. That’s four to eight pint jars.
Get an armload of fresh apples. They are best at the peak of ripeness. Wash and cut into quarters. I like to cut the core out too. Fill a one-gallon pot all the way to the top with the chunked apples. Add 1/2 to one cup of water. Cook on very low heat, allowing the apples to cook slowly, until when stirred they break apart and become sauce. Remove the skins one of two ways: Press the cooked apples through a pureer or chinois – this will give your sauce an even and smooth consistency. Or, allow the apples to cool then pull out the individual pieces of skin – this will give you chunky applesauce. While the sauce is still slightly warm, add a small amount of sugar, stir and taste, add more if needed.
CAN THE APPLESAUCE
- pint canning jars with two-piece lids (the flat rubber-ringed disk, and screw cap). I prefer Kerr brand jars because they are smooth, not embossed, so labels look great on them. They can be found at most grocery stores or online.
- heavy-duty rubber gloves
- water-bath canner with rack
- wide-mouth canning funnel
- paper towels cut into small squares, to wipe the rim of the jars
- ladle or large cup
- hot pads, towels, sponge, apron
- jar lifter
1.Put the disk part of the two-piece lids in a small pot, cover with water. Simmer for ten minutes to sterilize. Keep in the hot water until ready to use. Keep the screw caps nearby so they are ready.
2.Place rack in the bottom of the water bath canner. Wash jars and place in canner, completely submerged in water. Bring water to a simmer and keep jars in the simmering water for at least ten minutes or until ready to fill
3.Heat the applesauce slowly, covered, until it is simmering.
4.Pull jars out of the water bath canner, drain, and place on towel on counter. Using wide-mouth canning funnel, fill hot jars to 1/2″ from top with the almost-boiling applesauce.
5.Wipe the rim of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel to remove any food residue.
6.Take disks out of the hot water, and immediately place, rubber-side down, on the jars and seal as tight as you can with the screw caps.
7.Place in water bath canner. Make sure water in canner is hot BUT NOT BOILING. If you put your jars in boiling water your risk the jars breaking. The water needs to come to at least 1/2 inch above the top of the jars; you can remove any extra water.
8.Bring water back to a gently bubbling boil.
9.Leave pint jars in the continually, gently boiling water for 20 minutes. Make sure they are completely submerged the entire time.
10.Use jar lifter to remove jars from water, place on dry towel, tighten lids if needed and allow to cool thoroughly. If you don’t have a jar lifter, wear the heavy duty rubber gloves and quickly pull out one jar at a time.
11.Once the jars are COMPLETELY cool, remove screw caps and rinse the jars in fresh water. Dry, and replace clean screw caps.
12.Identify with labels, tags, etc as desired.
LABEL THE JARS
For labels, I used the 2” circle (shape 12) for both the tops and sides of the jars.
Style: Elements Watermark