There’s just no comparison between homemade applesauce and store-bought. If you’ve never had fresh homemade applesauce, you’ll have to try this. It just has so much more flavor. Think homemade chocolate cake as compared to a twinkie. Or sitting on a beach watching the sunset as compared to looking at a black and white photograph of a sunset. Yes, there’s that much of a difference!
And if you don’t want your homemade applesauce straight, just leave the spices and sugar. Either way, it will be delicious, for you and your family, or to give as gifts.
- 6 quarts apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1 cup sugar
- apple cider or water
- Large cooking pot
- potato masher
- 6 pint jars with lids and rings
- large pot for canning water bath
- jar grabber
- jar funnel
- magnetic lid and ring grabber
Yield: 6 pints applesauce
Wash your jars, lids, and rings in hot soapy water. Rinse, and then put them into a large canning pot of water making sure the water covers all. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Leave the lid on and set pot on a hotpad on your work surface. Place a large towel folded in half near the pot.
Time to start working on your apples. I recommend the sweet varieties so your applesauce will be naturally sweet. With sweet apples you could even skip the sugar. I used a mixture of Red Delicious, Gala, and Johnathan apples. Since apples come in different sizes it’s hard to tell how many you’ll need. Just start peeling, coring and slicing, and stop when you reach 6 quarts. An apple peeler/slicer/corer really speeds this step up if you have one. Here’s the one I use.
Pour about an inch of water or apple cider into a large pot, then throw in your sliced apples. Put the lid on and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and stirring occasionally continue to boil with the lid on until the apples are really soft and mushy. Remove from heat and mash up the apples with a potato masher. Then stir in the cinnamon,
Return pot to the stove, put the lid on and bring back to a simmer over medium heat,
stirring regularly so it doesn’t burn. When it reaches a simmer that can’t be stirred away, remove pot from heat and place near your towel on your work surface.
Using the jar grabber, remove the jars from the water and place on the towel. Remove the rings and lids with the magnetic ring grabber and place on the towel too.
Using the jar funnel for each jar, fill all the jars to within a quarter inch of the jar rim.
Wipe any spills from the rims with a wet paper towel.
Tighten rings until snug. Pour a few inches of water out of the pot. Using the jar grabber, put the jars back into the pot of water. Bring to a boil on high heat.
Reduce heat and boil for 5 minutes if you live at an altitude between 0-1000 feet. (For 1001 – 3000 feet boil 10 minutes. For 3001 to 6000 feet boil 15 minutes. For 6001 to 8000 feet boil 20 minutes. For 8001 to 10,000 boil 25 minutes.)
Remove the pot from the stove, and place near the towel again. Using the jar lifter, remove the jars from the water and place on the towel.
Allow to cool completely without touching or bumping them.
The jar lids should “pop” indicating they have sealed. (See the little hills on your lids? They should disappear.) Any jars that do not seal should be refrigerated.
And you’re done!