If your kids are like my kids, they can run through a quart of applesauce in nothing flat. I know applesauce is cheap, and although it won’t break your budget, but home bottled applesauce is where its at!
Bottling anything can be time consuming. And it is a lot of work, but applesauce is a great addition to your food storage and can be bottled sweetened or unsweetened depending on your preferences.
I first started bottling applesauce right before my oldest child was born. I had just gotten laid off from my seasonal ranger position at Zion National Park and was making the transition to being a stay at home mom. I have 3 weeks to get the house ready for the baby and was done with that in like 2 days.
My neighbor ended up getting a bunch of apples for free and asked me if I wanted some. I said yes, because really I just needed something to occupy my time and my mind. I bottled quart after quart of applesauce that week. I made it without any sugar or cinnamon thinking this would be a great start to making all of my own baby food. But lets be real, I never did make all my own baby food. Yet another ambition that got hit with a reality check.
So after ending up with tons of the most bland applesauce ever, (I used most of it for baking, check out my zucchini bread recipe) the next year I bottled applesauce with added sugar and cinnamon. Much better!
So here it is! My applesauce recipe and how to bottle it!
Any apple can be made into applesauce, but I recommend finding a flavorful eating apple for best results. I usually just end up with whatever apples are available off my neighbor’s trees, but I try to use the sweeter varieties for applesauce and the more tart or less flavorful ones for making apple pie filling! (blog post on this to come!)
Now that you have a bunch of flavorful apples, slice, core and skin each one. Trust me on the skinned apples. applesauce made with the skin on is far less enjoyable. I made that mistake one year too. I figured it would be more nutritious and less work to leave the skins on. I decided afterward it was worth the extra work and lessened nutrition to actually enjoy my applesauce. I skin my apples by hand but I like to use an apple corer and slicer to speed up this process.
Next take all of the skinned apple slices and bring them to a boil on the stove. I use a huge stockpot and fill it about half full of apple and then fill it on up with water. I cover it and let it boil until the apples are soft.
Then I drain off the water throw the apple slices into my blender. I blend the apples until smooth and then pour them out in another large pot or container.
When I have all the apples pureed I then add sugar and cinnamon to the apple puree in small amounts tasting it often to get just the right amount of sweetness to it. The applesauce is now made and ready for serving or bottling.
To bottle the applesauce I take washed and sanitized bottles that have been left to sit in hot water so that they won’t crack when the hot applesauce is ladled into them, and using a funnel, I fill them with applesauce leaving a half an inch of headspace.
Then place the lids on and tighten the rings just hand tight. Put them into the water bath canner and process (boil) them for 20 minutes for both quarts and pints.
When the 20 minutes is up, remove them from the canner and place them on a towel to cool. As they cool, a vacuum effect will suck the lid down and seal the rubber ring onto the jar.
And that’s it! Simple easy and so delicious! It can now be used or stored til next year when you will need to make some more because it is so tasty it will all be eaten before next years apple crop is ready!