Canning Unsweetened Applesauce

We are on a canning roll here these days. Our latest fun has been applesauce. Jason came home with an ‘apple machine’ to help with the peeling and coring part of the project and I am so glad he did. It sped up the process sooo much. I thought these machines would be too pricey, but he found a PC Brand one for $12. It is metal and sturdy. The only thing we didn’t like about it is that it doesn’t clamp down, it is kept down with suction, which isn’t a very smart design considering the apple juices get under the suction part and ‘unsuction’ it.

So, here is our first attempt at making applesauce:

What you will need:

  • 10 pounds of apples, peeled, cored, and quartered. I used Paula Reds – they are a mix of sweet and tart, perfect for applesauce when you don’t want to add sugar. I figured out that 1 peck is about 16 apples and that’s about 5 lbs, so I got 2 pecks (1/2 bushel) of apples for this recipe.
  • 2 Tablespoons nutmeg (I skipped this because Mikail likes plain applesauce.
  • Juice of 1 lemon
Once the apples are peeled, cored, and sliced, place them in a large pot with about 1/4 inch water and heat on the stove on medium with a lid. The apples will steam and soften after about 20-25 minutes. I stirred the apples several times so they would not stick to the bottom of my pot.

I used an immersion blender to puree the apples down to my desired consistency of apple sauce. Scooping batches into a blender, food processor, or food mill would work well too. Jason thinks that he would like the texture better if it wasn’t so ‘pureed’, so next year we will use our food mill, which is still packed away in our trailer.

Once the apples are pureed, add the nutmeg and lemon juice, stirring gently to combine.
Fill pint jars with applesauce, leaving headspace. I really recommend the canning funnel to fill your jars. It helps prevent any of the applesauce getting on the lip of the jar, which could affect sealing and promote contamination. Wipe the tops of the jars to ensure no applesauce is on the jars. Then place the lid and the band on each jar.

Immerse the jars in boiling water; you might need to do this in batches. The jars should be covered by at least 1 inch of water. Boil for 20 minutes (no less). Remove and allow the jars to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. The jars will seal as they cool and you will hear the oh-so-satisfying ‘pop’ when they do. After 24 hours, check the jars to ensure that they are sealed. Simply push down on the lids. If you can press them down, they are not sealed. Put that jar(s) in the fridge and enjoy in the next few days. The rest of the jars can be kept in your pantry for up to a year.
This made 7 pints of applesauce for me. 

**It is very important to practice safe canning methods. If you are new to canning or need a refresher, please check out these health and safety suggestions found in THIS link.**

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