Applesauce is a simple and easy treat that will last long through the winter. Our family spent an afternoon picking several varieties of apples at Jacob’s Farms and brought home several bushels. While I love to eat apples fresh, applesauce is a wonderful way to preserve them.
The key to making a great tasting applesauce is to use several varieties of apples. This batch of applesauce was made using about 50% Zestar, 25% Honeycrisp, 15% Gala, and 10% Redfree. In addition I added the juice of several lemons and about a cup of water to get things started.
Making the Applesauce
The first thing to do when making applesauce is wash, peel, core, and chop the apples into quarter or eighths. Put the cup of water in a large stock pot along with the lemon juice and start adding apples as you peel and chop them. Make sure to stir regularly as well.
While the apples are softening you should also prepare your canning jars and lids by simmering in your canning pot. For applesauce I use quart jars – our family of 4 goes through a quart of applesauce very quickly.
Once the apples are nice and soft, mash them to the desired consistency with a potato masher. Transfer the applesauce to your canning jars using a funnel and leave about 1/2″ head space. Wipe the rims of the jars and use a small spatula to remove any air bubbles before putting on your lids and tightening bands loosely.
Finally completely submerge the jars in a rapid boil in the canning jar. Here in northern Michigan I process the jars for 20 minutes but you should consult a resource such as this for processing time based on your elevation. Finally take the jars out of the canning pot and place on drying racks to dry overnight.