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If you have never made your own applesauce, you don’t know what you’re missing. Homemade applesauce is not comparable to shop-bought applesauce.
Applesauce is really easy to make once we theoretically know how to make home made applesauce. It just takes a few steps. If we want to can the applesauce, there’s one more step to do. Let’s start explaining how it works.
Step one, getting the apples
We can get the apples from our backyard as we have half a dozen of apple trees. If you don’t have apple trees, just go and buy a certain amount of apples equal to the amount of applesauce you want to make.
Step two, peeling the apples
In my case, I have quite a bit of work in peeling the apples as I’m making almost 20 liters – 5.3 gallons – of applesauce in a short period of time due to the harvesting of the apples.
I also have more work in sorting the apples because my apples are organically grown and I don’t use any pesticides on the apples or the trees, so sometimes small critters enjoy the insides of the apples as well.
If we buy the apples, we’ll have fewer problems with critters and unless we buy 20 to 30 kilograms – 44 pounds to 66 pounds of apples at once, we won’t need that much time to peel the apples.
First, we peel the apple, then we remove the inside part that’s hard and contains the seeds, this is called the core. If we wouldn’t remove the core of the apples, we would get hard fibery pieces in our applesauce.
If you are in the same situation as me and you have to clean a lot of apples, you can pour some lemon juice in a pot of water. You can put your peeled and cleaned apple pieces in the water and they won’t turn brown. The acidity of the lemon juice keeps the apple pieces white.
Step three, washing the apple pieces and weighing them out
Once we have peeled all the apples and cut them into quarters, it’s time to wash and weigh the apples. It’s necessary to wash quite thoroughly because of the lemon juice and to make sure that any debris is washed off.
We can just use tap water to wash the apples, we don’t use anything else as this is not necessary.
We need to weigh the apples if we want to put sugar or a sweetener in the applesauce.
I first weigh my apples and then I weigh the amount of sugar I need to put with the apples when boiling them.
I currently use 150 gram or one-third of a pound of sugar for every kilogram or 2.2 pounds of apples. The sugar content is about 15% of the apple content. This is just my measurement, the amount of sugar or sweetener can be adapted.
For people who use sweetener instead of sugar, most sweeteners come with a formula to know how much sweetener to use instead of a certain weight of sugar so there will be some calculations to do.
Step four, make everything ready to cook the apples
We added the apples to the pot, we added the sugar to the pot. Now, we just need to add a bottom of water to the pot to make sure the apples get cooked and not burned. The amount of water we use depends on the apples.
The first time you try out how to make applesauce at home, you’d better use a bit more water to try it out. Just remember that more water will take away the taste of your applesauce.
Step five, boiling the apples
Now here’s a trick I’ve learned while making the applesauce. We heat up the apples on a medium fire until the water starts to boil. As soon as we can hear the water boiling, we turn the fire a bit lower so the apples don’t get burned and the sugar doesn’t turn into caramel.
It will take about 15 to 20 minutes before the apples start to soften. As soon as most of the apples turn into mush when we turn them with a spoon, the apples can be taken off the fire.
Step six, the applesauce is ready
Now, we can take the applesauce from the fire and we can mash it, we can mix it, or for those who like lumps, we can just turn it with the spoon. Our applesauce is now ready to eat. If you want to can your applesauce, feel free to read on.
Step seven, sterilize while you make your applesauce
We can start canning the applesauce when it’s ready but only when the pots are sterilized.
It’s time to take everything we need to sterilize the pots and start the sterilization process. I personally use a special cooker to can my stuff and I can sterilize my pots in that cooker while I’m making my applesauce. The cooker works as a water bath.
We can put the jars in the water bath and let them boil for at least 15 minutes (recommended is 10 minutes to sterilize, but let’s be cautious). Leave the jars in the hot cooker for as long as the applesauce takes to be ready.
Let’s sterilize everything we need to can the applesauce.
- clips to seal the pots
Step eight, fill the jars with applesauce
Once we can start to pour the applesauce into the jars, we just take out one jar at a time, we fill it up and we seal it. We put back the jar in the hot cooker as soon as we can.
Here are some recommendations while we pour the applesauce into the jars.
- Make sure the rims and the lid of the jars stay clean as this is the first potential point of entry for bacteria.
- If the rubbers don’t seal well, the pots will not be a vacuum and we won’t be able to keep the applesauce for a long time.
- We try not to mess with the jars for too long with our hands because the sterilization process is already done so germs can stick to the pots once again.
- The pots have to be sealed with the clips before putting them back in the cooker.
- We put the pots back in the hot bath to avoid further contamination.
Final step, canning the applesauce
This is the shortest step of all to explain. We start the cooker and let the temperature rise to at least 90°C or 194°F and keep the temperature steady for at least 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, we can remove the jars and let them cool down. Don’t remove the sealing clips until the temperature has dropped to room temperature.
Once we remove the sealing clips, the lids should be tightly fit on the jars. If there are loose lids, it means the canning process has failed and we’ll have to eat it’s content in less than a week.
We have kept our jars with applesauce for more than a year, this way, without any problem.
Now you should know how to make home made applesauce. I think I explained everything there is to explain about canning the applesauce. This will be the end of the article. If you have any questions, feel free to post your question in the comment section.
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Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.