Introduction: How to Make and Can Applesauce - Canned Applesauce
A surprisingly easy way to deal with a surplus of tasty fruit.
Acquire a canning pot. They come with a wire rack for about $18, and for about another $5 you can get the tongs and funnel as well. Jars run about $6-9/dozen, depending on size. Fill the pot about 2/3 of the way up with water, and start heating- there's enough thermal mass that this will take a while.
Cook down chopped apples with water, lemon juice, honey, and spices to taste. Run the hot chunks through a food processer or food mill, and return to the pot to keep warm.
Meanwhile, prepare jars and lids: wash jars by hand or in the dishwasher, then place in a clean sink filled with extremely hot tap water until ready for use. Add clean rings and lids; do not run lids through the dishwasher.
Create a workspace on a clean towel next to the sink. Remove jar from the hot water and shake off excess. Add applesauce to pint jars using the funnel.
Leave about 1/2 inch headspace for expansion during cooking; this means the big ring on the base of the jar neck. (Useful, eh?)
Wipe threads and top of the jar with a clean paper towel to ensure a proper seal. Place a lid on top of the jar, and gently screw on the ring, leaving it loose enough that air can escape during boiling.
Place jars on the rack in the boiling water as you fill them.
Lower the full rack into the water, which should cover the jars by at least an inch or two. Cover, return to a boil, and begin counting for 20 minutes.
Use tongs and/or a spatula to retrieve rack handles from the boiling water, and raise the rack.
Remove jars with curved end of tongs, and place on another clean towel to cool and dry. Be sure to leave enough space between for air to circulate. Listen for pops as the lids vacuum-seal.
Label with date and contents, then store in a cool, dark place until apple season is over.