Thursday, September 29, 2011

canning applesauce

Canning Applesauce

I get a large pot to hold my apples. I put a little water in the bottom to keep the apples from scorching. I fill with the apples and set them on the burner on about medium heat. I let them start cooking. As they cook they breakdown and soon have the look of applesauce. This can take a bit of time. If your temps are too hot you will scorch the apples. So turn down the burner if you need to and stir often. Once all the apples are well cooked and look like they should I test the applesauce to see if it needs to be sweetened. Sometimes I have used apples that were so sweet nothing else was needed. Sometimes I have had tart apples (I know there are types of apples better suited for sauce than others but typically I am just thankful for whatever type they are and work with it from there! ~smile~).

If you find you need to sweeten your apples I recommend a natural sweetener. I have used honey before and am always happy with that. One year I added a can of apple juice concentrate to my big pot of sauce and it sweetened everything up just perfectly.

The last added touch is optional but something we enjoy and that is a bit of cinnamon. I can’t give you amounts because I have no idea how many apples you are working with. Even if I did, I probably still could not tell you because I just sprinkle, stir, taste and don’t worry too much about it. Remember when adding any spices, “less is best”. Add a small amount and test. You can always add more but you can’t take it away.

Now you can either freeze your sauce or can it. If you are going to freeze it put it in zip type bags or reusable freezer containers (glass or plastic) and put in the freezer. If you want to can your sauce then you will need canning jars (pints or quarts), new lids and rings and a pot large enough to hold your jars and cover them with water.

For canning, fill about half full your canning pot with hot water and put on a stove burner to heat up. Wash the jars and fill with hot water to sterilize and heat the jar. When your sauce is ready fill hot jars with hot sauce to within one inch of the top of the jar. Apply a brand new lid and a ring (you can reuse rings). Screw down the lid and using a jar lifter put the jar of sauce into your pot of hot water. After all jars are full (or your canner has all that it will hold), fill the canner with hot water and bring to a boil. Cover with lid and let the jars boil in the water for 15 minutes for pint jars and 20 minutes for quart jars. If you are at higher altitudes you need to boil for longer periods (for altitudes 1000 -3000ft add 5 minutes (to the original times given), for 3000 -6000 add 5 minutes to pints and 10 minutes to quarts and for 6000+ add 10 minutes to pints and 15 minutes to quarts).

When the time is done, lift out the jars and let them cool to room temp. You may hear pinging and popping sounds as each jar is sealing. When the jars are cool you can touch the lid and to make sure it feels tight and well sealed. Remove the rings, wash and dry them for later use. You can store the jars in a cool place and enjoy through the winter!

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