This has been a great year for apples at our house.
We have 3 big apple trees. I can’t even remember what type they are- it’s been so many years since we planted them! But they are bit on the tart side, making them delicious for eating and making applesauce!
Some years they don’t do so well and some years, like this year, we get a bumper crop. We choose not to use pesticides on them. We’d probably get better yields if we did, but we don’t want the chemicals.
Last week, I canned 24 pints of applesauce!
Today we’re having pork barbecue for supper, so I made up a fresh batch for supper to go along with it. It’s cooking in the crock pot now.
So let me tell you how to make Applesauce, both ways- Canned and in the Crock pot:
Crock pot Applesauce
Prep time- Approx. 15 minutes / Cook time- 3-4 hours
- 12 -15 apples, peeled and sliced into pieces
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/4 cup sugar ( you can totally omit the sugar if you prefer, esp if your apples are sweet ones)
- 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Place the apples in the crock pot. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and stir it in. Add water, sugar and cinnamon, stir and turn on high. Cook untill tender, approximately 4 hours. Enjoy it warm right from the crock pot!
Now, here’s what I do when I make a big batch to can:
You can adjust this recipe to use whatever amount of apples you may have, but here’s a recipe for around 14lb. of prepared apples.
It will yield about 9 pints of applesauce.
Wash apples, peel and core.
Cut into chunks and place in a large pan.
Put in water to cover the bottom so they won’t burn while cooking down.
Cook over medium low heat until apples are soft, stirring occasionally and adding a bit more water if necessary to keep them from burning.
While it’s cooking, I wash my jars. It’s most efficient if done in the dishwasher, but certainly you can wash them by hand as well. (For applesauce, it’s easiest to use wide mouth jars. I have used quart jars for years as I had lots of mouths to feed. This year I used pints for the first time ever.)
Boil a pan of water and rinse each jar, swirling the water around to warm the jars. Pour the water out of the jars when you are ready to fill with the applesauce.
Boil your lids and keep them warm in the pan till ready to use. Also fill your water bath canner and let the water be getting hot while you prepare your jars. (You will want the water to cover the tops of the jars by about an inch or two.)
When apples are soft, run through a blender. (I LOVE my Ninja blender. I use it for so many things.)
You can sweeten with sugar or honey to taste. I often add cinnamon to at least some of my batch. It’s optional though.
Using a funnel fill jars to within 3/4 ” of the top of the jar.
Run a knife down the inside of each jar to remove any air bubbles.
Wipe the rim of each jar clean (If you used a funnel, it won’t be very messy. Applesauce on the rim can cause it not to seal properly)
Using your lid lifter ( A wonderful invention. I never had one for years, but wouldn’t do without it now) , place lids on the jars., then place the rings on jars.
Lift each jar with your jar lifter and place in boiling water inside the canner.
Adjust water level by adding more if needed. Place lid on the pan and keep and eye on it so you can start timing when the water comes to a boil. When it does, turn heat down to medium and time it for 20 minutes.
When 20 minutes is up, turn heat off and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Place a dish towel on the counter top near canner so you can place your hot jars on it to cool. Remove lid from the canner and use your jar lifter again to remove each jar.
Let the jars stay on the counter without moving for at least 24 hours.
Soon after removing them from the canner, you’ll hear that lovely ping sound as the lids begin to seal.
The next day, press down on the center of each jar to be sure it has sealed. If it hasn’t , just place the jar in the refrigerator and use within a week.
Sealed jars can be stored for 12- 18 months on a shelf. Once you open the jar, store remainder not used up in the refrigerator.
I write on my jars with a permanent marker the date I made the applesauce so I can use up earlier batches first.
Enjoy! Nothing like homemade applesauce!