Applesauce Canning

This past Saturday I taught a Canning 101 and Applesauce Workshop in partnership with the Baltimore City Orchard Project. I have posted an applesauce canning recipe before but wanted to revisit the process with this post, including more extensive canning resources.

Canning is a great tool for preserving bumper crops of apples, pears, tomatoes, and more for the winter. With an afternoon’s work, your harvest can feed you until the next go-round! This workshop was hosted in the Clifton Park Food Forest, a very cool permaculture space that I hope to be more involved with in the future. It was inspiring to teach a preserving workshop in a space full of fruit, herb, and nut plants—it felt very cyclical to be teaching preserving amongst food bearing plants!

Below follows an applesauce recipe and canning instructions for applesauce. Comment & reach out with questions or your own canning recipes!

Applesauce Ingredients

  • About 2.5 – 3 pounds makes 1 quart, approximately 1.5 pounds in 1 pint.
  • Water
  • Sugar (optional)

Recipe below adapted from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.

Applesauce Instructions

  • Wash apples; drain.
  • Core the apples. Peeling is optional. Cut into quarters or smaller pieces to reduce apple skin bits.
  • Cook until soft in a large covered saucepot with just enough water to prevent sticking. For a chunky applesauce, use a potato masher to break pieces up into
  • Puree using a food processor or food mill. Puree all apples for smooth sauce or a portion for chunky sauce. You can also try mashing with a potato masher for small batches.
  • Return pulp to saucepot. If using sugar, add ¼ cup per pound of apples or more to taste.
  • Bring to a boil (212°F), stirring to prevent sticking. Optional, add ground spices during the last 5 minutes of cooking during boiling period.  
  • Maintain boil while filling jars. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving ½” headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps.

Instructions for Canning

  • Fill a large pot or canning pot (20-21.5 quarts) about halfway with water. Bring to a boil. There should be enough water to cover the jar and rise over its lid at least 1 inch. If you are using a canning rack, place this in the bottom of the pot.
  • If you do not have a canning rack, cut a large sheet of aluminum foil and roll into a loose roll. Coil the roll into a spiral about the size of the bottom of your pot, and use this as your canning rack.
  • When the water is boiling, using tongs to grab the top of the jar, place the jar in the pot on top of the canning rack of foil ring. Leave the jar in the water at a boil to process for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the jar from the water after 20 minutes. Over the next 24 hours the lid should “pop” and depress, creating a seal. When you open the jar the band may be loose, but the lid should be tightly sealed and “pop” again when opened. If your jar does not seal in the first 24 hours, reprocess following the instructions above using a new lid and band. In storage, if the food becomes discolored, discard. Canned foods have a shelf life of one year, so make sure to label your jar with the date that you made them!
  • If you’d like to change the recipe or size of your jar, consult a reputable canning source like the USDA or Ball for guidelines on jar size and produce selection.

Resources

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