This afternoon, I canned a small batch of applesauce. I only used up about half of the apples I bought at Spicer's last weekend, so I think I'll probably do another batch of applesauce tomorrow. I couldn't believe how easy this was! It didn't even take an hour from start to finish - so nice! I'm excited to try this. I think we'll keep the half-pint out for us to try sometime this week so that I can make any modifications when I get more apples and do more sauce. For this recipe, I did smooth applesauce using the largest blade on my food mill. Tomorrow's batch I'll also do smooth, but I'm going to use the finest cut blade on the food mill, which I figure will end up pretty much like baby food so that Carson can eat my homemade applesauce.
(Page 182 of the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)
12 pounds apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and treated to prevent browning
3 cups granulated sugar, optional (I left this out)
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine the apples and just enough water to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 20 minutes, until apples are tender (mine took about 10 minutes, but my apple peeler slices the apples pretty thin). Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Run the apples through a food mill or food processor.
Return to the saucepan. Add sugar, if using, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Maintain a gentle boil while filling the jars.
Ladle hot applesauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim, place lid and ring, and tighten to fingertip tight.
Process jars in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes (for both pints and quarts). Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, remove jars, cool, and store.
Yields about eight pints or four quarts (though if you omit the sugar, your yield will be reduced)