How to Make and Can Applesauce
Last week, we were surprised with a hefty crop of Yellow Transparent apples from two of our trees. Both trees last year did not produce hardly anything, and the few apples that came off of their branches were mottled and quickly devoured by Japanese Beetles. But this year - wow! There are so many! It must be true what they say: apple trees usually produce every other year. Our other trees that produced bushels and bushels of apples last autumn are looking sparse this year. But that is alright, we are looking forward to the apples from the handful of trees that were just as sparse last year. It all evens out!
When I first noticed the Yellow Transparents, I was hesitant about when to pick them. They are a green apple that turns yellow, almost white, when ripened. However, when they do ripen, they become extremely soft, mushy, and flavorless. I learned that it is best to pick them when they are still green but have turned slightly sweet. They are a sharp and somewhat sour apple, but they cook up sweet interestingly enough!
They are the preferred apple for making sauces and purees, which is exactly what I decided to make. Read on to learn the recipe!
Ingredients + Recipe |
Makes 8-9 pint jars
• 12 lbs apples; peeled, cored, quartered, and treated to prevent browning (Yellow Transparent preferred, but can be any sweet or tart apple)
3 cups sugar
4 tbsp lemon juice
*To treat the apples to prevent browning, soak them in 4 cups water plus 1/4 cup lemon juice for a few minutes.
Prepare your canner, jars, and lids. Applesauce cooks quickly, so you can begin boiling your jars now.
Place the apples in a large stockpot over medium-high heat and with enough water to prevent them from sticking and burning to the pot, about 1-2 cups. Stir occasionally to prevent burning and bring to a boil.
Boil for 5-20 minutes or until the apples have softened. The boiling time depends on the maturity and variety of apple used. For Yellow Transparent, it is fast!
Working in batches, send the apples through a food mill or food processor and pulse until smooth. If you want chunky applesauce, only blend half of the batch and mash the other half with a potato masher.
Return to the stockpot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5-10 minutes and bring to a gentle rolling boil over medium-low heat.
Add the sugar, if using, and lemon juice.
Ladle boiling applesauce into hot jars. Remove air bubbles and replace any lost space with more sauce, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rims and secure the lids with rings to fingertip tight.
Process in the canner, with the lid on, for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, turn off heat, and let sit in the water for 5 more minutes.
Remove from water and place on the counter over a towel. Allow seals to set and listen for the pop! Check seals after 12 hours.
This sauce is extremely sweet, especially with this particular variety of apple. You can omit the sugar if desired or change the amount. I suppose you could even use a different type of sweetener if that is what you prefer. You can also add a spiced variation such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice. Simply add 4 tsp of whichever you choose! Either eat fresh or canned. Canned sauce will last for at least 12 months or possibly longer. Just continue to check the seals!