Canning apple sauce? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 09-29-2006, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have tons of apples from a neighbors tree and am thinking about canning some apple sauce. I have never canned ANYTHING before. Has anyone done it? Do you have any tips? I would like to use maple syrup as my sweetener. I do have a fairly largish pressure cooker.

Can you help get me started?

Syrinx, Soulmate to Pan, Mama to Zion (5), River (3), Silver (1) and expecting a baby Storm...
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#2 of 14 Old 09-29-2006, 11:39 AM
 
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I have canned applesauce ever since I was a little girl. This year, I went to North Carolina for a week to visit a friend and make applesauce since apples don't grow here in Florida. I made 171 quarts of applesauce and 38 quarts of apple butter!

This is how we do it:

1. Wash the apples

2. Slice the apples. If you have a lot of apples to cut, something like this: http://www.applesource.com/peeler.html will save you a tremendous amount of time. The one I have, you can move the peeler piece out of the way so it does not peel the apples. It may or may not be necessary to peel the apples, as you will see. If the apples are red, it is nice to not have to peel them because it will give the applesauce a nice pink color.

3. Put a small amount of water into a pan (like just enough to coat the bottom), stuff the pan full of cut apples, cover, and cook over medium-high heat until the apples are quite soft.

4. You then have to process the cooked apples through a food mill. I have this one: http://www.backtobasicsproducts.com/...products_id=49 This allows you to make a lot at one time quite easily. You can also use something like this: http://www.applesource.com/foodmill.html although I have never personally used one. Either way, this machine will separate the unedible bits and send out the applesauce!

5. I put the applesauce in a very large bowl, that holds 32 cups. When it is nearly full, I add 3/4 cup of sugar and stir it in well. (I have never used maple syrup for sweetner, but don't see why it would be a problem. I think you could just add it until it was as sweet as you wanted. I'd start with 1/4 cup at a time, stir it in, taste, etc, for the first batch, then add the same amount to each batch after that. You don't HAVE to add sweetner. I made some without for my diabetic grandfather).

6. Put into prewashed jars (I run them through the dishwasher), and put the lids on and screw on the rings.

7. I have always processed my applesauce in a water bath canner: http://www.backtobasicsproducts.com/...products_id=85 You can get one of these at Walmart for about $18. However, this year, we could not use this because my friend's mother had a glass top stove. So we used a very big pot, and put the jar rings on the bottom of the pot and balanced a jar on top of each ring. This caused rust marks on the bottom of the pot, so you might want to use another method. The jars need to be elevated off the bottom of the pan in order to allow the water to circulate all the way around them. Fill with water so that the water comes just to the bottom of the neck of the jars. Bring to a boil and after it starts to boil, time for 20 minutes. Remove jars from the water. It is very helpful to have one or two of these: http://www.backtobasicsproducts.com/...products_id=89 for this purpose (it is upside down in the picture. The red part is the part that actually goes around the jar). It is not necessary to use a pressure canner, although you can if you want. I have never done that, so could not tell you what pressure you need to bring it to or how long it needs to be at pressure.

I hope everything goes well. Once you eat homemade applesauce, you just can't eat the stuff from the store! Feel free to PM me or e-mail me if you have any questions!

ETA: I get about 18 quarts of applesauce from 1 bushel of apples.
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#3 of 14 Old 09-29-2006, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow that's really helpful. I don't know about a foodmill though. We are pretty tight on $ and don't see room for it in my budget. The apples I have are big so maybe just peel and core by hand?

What do you think?

Syrinx, Soulmate to Pan, Mama to Zion (5), River (3), Silver (1) and expecting a baby Storm...
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#4 of 14 Old 09-29-2006, 12:46 PM
 
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I don't have a food mill.

Applesauce is the first thing I ever canned, and I'm a lot more casual about it than the pp. Basically, I just cover a bunch of apple slices with water and simmer it on the back of the stove until the jars are ready. Sometimes I add cinnamon and the quantity of sugar I use really does vary. This year I didn't use any after checking my Ball Blue Book repeatedly to make sure that it would be okay.

For the actual canning, I boil the jars for 10 minutes before packing the apple sauce and then process for 20 minutes for pints.

I use a large stockpot that has enough room for the water to cover the jars. It's supposed to be an inch of water over the top.

Applesauce is really good, especially all warm in the winter. You can also use it instead of fat and/or eggs in your baking.
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#5 of 14 Old 09-29-2006, 04:24 PM
 
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I am going to be canning some this afternoon (and probably more later, too.) I have a water bath canner (the big speckled black enamel pot, with the rack to keep the jars off the bottom of the pot, and the tong-type jar lifters.) I will be canning quarts.

I do have a food mill, but it's just a basic Foley food mill (in the $14 to $19 range, I think.) It makes it nice because I can just cut up the apples: no peeling, no coring. The food mill takes care of all of that once the apples are cooked down.

I don't bother with sweetening the applesauce. (I buy unsweetened from the store, anyway, and would rather not add sugar to the stuff I make.) You might taste it and see what you think, before adding sweetener. Using a mix of apples might help with that, or just using a variety that is not too tart. (I know you're using apples from the neighbor's tree, so you don't have a choice, but maybe do a taste test and see if you think it needs to be sweeter.)

I got some decent information online about the number of quarts of applesauce yielded by various weights or quantities of apples (how much to expect per pound, per bushel, etc.) This will help me because I know I can only process 7 quarts at a time--that's what will fit into the canner. So even though I have more apples, I'd like to start out cutting up just what I can estimate will fill those 7 jars.

Here are two links that might help:

Clemson Extension Service (scroll down for specs on applesauce)

How To Make Applesauce Detailed instructions, with slightly different info on amount of applesauce from a bushel of apples, including photos.

I've made homemade applesauce, but I've not canned it before. I have canned whole tomatoes, jams, salsa, and tomato sauce in a water bath canner. It's really do-able, and pretty satisfying. Good luck!
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#6 of 14 Old 09-29-2006, 04:28 PM
 
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I thought you had to bottle low-acid food (like fruit and vegetables) in a pressure cooker?

If not, yay! (I have a water bath canner. I don't have a pressure cooker.)

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#7 of 14 Old 09-29-2006, 07:15 PM
 
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As to the questions of whether a food mill is needed....

I too have a bit of a tight budget and do not have one. To be honest, all I ever do is peel/core the apples and cut into quarters, put the apples, a little bit of water, and a splash of lemon juice and let them simmer for 20 min. After that I just mash them w/a potato masher and then simmer, stirring occassionally until the apple mixture has thickened some.

If you choose a variety of apple that is good for saucing you can likely even skip the second cooking. My applesauce isn't as smooth as some and sometimes gets some slightly less edible pieces in it, but I think that's what makes it homemade!

I freeze mine, but I'm considering getting together with a friend and canning them since I'm running out of freezer space!
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#8 of 14 Old 09-30-2006, 11:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathirynne View Post
I thought you had to bottle low-acid food (like fruit and vegetables) in a pressure cooker?

If not, yay! (I have a water bath canner. I don't have a pressure cooker.)
I wasn't sure about that (whether applesauce would "qualify" for waterbath processing or not) but when I decided to make it this year I checked and it's one of the things you can process in a water bath canner. So is apple butter.

Good news, huh?
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#9 of 14 Old 10-01-2006, 10:22 AM
 
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i make applesauce the same way as noordinaryspider. cut, peel, throw in a large pot with some sugar and cinnamon (to taste) and cook down. i process in a water bath for 25 minutes.

yum--i think i'll make some today

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#10 of 14 Old 10-01-2006, 02:08 PM
 
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We have two apple trees, so I am forever making applesauce.

I do it similarly to that described--I cut and core, but do not peel and put in a big pot over a steamer with a little bit of water underneath, so the apples just get steamed.

Then I put them in my grinder, though really, you could just mash them and take off the peels then, because they come right off.

I don't can them; I freeze them in smaller portions, so the nights when the kids want applesauce--voila!

Good luck!

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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#11 of 14 Old 10-01-2006, 03:04 PM
 
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We don't water bath just hot jars, hot applesauce, stick in jars slap on a hot lid and ring and let set over night.

We also don't put in any spices or sugar. We do that if we desire after we open the jar. Sometimes the applesauce is sooooo good it requires nothing but a spoon
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#12 of 14 Old 10-02-2006, 04:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momto l&a View Post
We don't water bath just hot jars, hot applesauce, stick in jars slap on a hot lid and ring and let set over night.
Don't you worry about the applesauce going off? (How long does it keep with this method?)

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#13 of 14 Old 01-03-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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I leave the peels on because it is healthier.

You don't need a food mill, you can use a blender. Just be sure to add enough water. The applesauce gets think and you could burn up your blender if you aren't careful. I just add back some of the water from boiling the apples before blending them.

I do use a water bath canner. But, you don't have to use one of those either. Just a large stock pot with the water an inch over the top of the jars.

Applesauce is one of the easiest things to can, because it requires nothing to be added. No sugar or other juices are required. It has everything it needs to preserve itself.

Be sure to sterilize the jars before canning and leave at least a half inch of space to the top of the jar, so the applesauce won't spill out an ruin your seal.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4517658_applesauce-canning-recipe.html
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#14 of 14 Old 01-03-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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I quarterd the apples so theyed cook faster, cooked'm and ran them through my food mill... twas way easy, then added a bit of lemon juice and canned.
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