October 12, 2014

Homemade Cinnamon-Spiced Applesauce with Canning Instructions


One of my favorite things to do on a chilly fall day is make applesauce.  It's super easy, tastes better than any of that store-bought stuff you can buy, and it makes the house smell ahh-mazing while it's simmering!  For the best flavor, try to use a variety of apples that are good for cooking such as Fuji, Gala, Pippin, Jonathan, Gravenstein, Rome, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and McIntosh.  Honeycrisp apples are also very good (actually my favorite), but they are a little more on the watery side.  Whenever I use Honeycrisp apples, I reduce the amount of water to usually 3/4 cup.  The beauty of homemade applesauce is that it's very forgiving.  The natural sweetness of your apples will ultimately determine how much sugar you will want to use.  Always start out using less sugar than you think because you can always add more later.  If your applesauce is too sweet, add some lemon juice.  Try substituting the water for apple juice and even add a touch of pure vanilla extract for some more depth of flavor.

For making a larger quantity of applesauce for canning, see below.



SMALLER QUANTITY


Ingredients:
Yields approximately 3 cups


  • 4 lbs apples (about 8 to 10, depending on the size), peeled, cored, quartered  
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 c water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1 tbsp to 4 tbsp white sugar, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 

Directions:

Add the apples, lemon juice, water, cinnamon stick, and salt in a large pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.  Turn down the heat to medium low and cover.  Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the apples are very tender.  Remove the cinnamon stick.  

Mash the apples with a potato masher or process through a food processor.  Add the brown sugar to the hot applesauce.  Stir in anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 4 tablespoons of the white sugar into the hot applesauce, to taste.  Stir in the ground cinnamon.

Enjoy it warm or cover and chill in an airtight container.


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LARGER QUANTITY

Ingredients:  
Yields approximately 14 quarts 


  • 1 bushel of apples, quartered (cored if not using a food mill)
  • Juice of 2 lemons 
  • Enough water to cover the apples 
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon 



PROCESSING:



If using a food mill, quarter the apples and remove the stems with a sharp knife.  You may leave the peel on.  If you have red apples, you might notice a tinge of pink from the peel when you are processing the applesauce; however, the addition of brown sugar will take that away.

In a very large pot, add the apples, lemon juice and water.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and cook until the apples are soft, about 30 minutes.  Carefully remove the apples with a large slotted spoon for processing.  Pour out the remaining water from the large pot.

Process the apples through a fine-hold disc of a food mill.  Discard the peels and seeds.  In the food mill we used, we passed the apples through three times.



Return the applesauce to the large pot, stirring frequently to keep from sticking and burning.  Add the brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon, to taste.  Stir in enough water until you have reached your desired consistency.  If you like thick applesauce, there's no need to add water at all.  Continue to cook and stir until the temperature reaches 220 degrees.



If using a food processor, peel, core, and quarter the apples.

In a very large pot, add the apples, lemon juice and water.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and cook until the apples are soft, about 30 minutes.  Carefully remove the apples with a large slotted spoon for processing.  Pour out the remaining water from the large pot.  

Process the apples in a food processor in batches.   

Return the applesauce to the large pot, stirring frequently to keep from sticking and burning.  Add the brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon, to taste.  Stir in enough water until you have reached your desired consistency.  If you like thick applesauce, there's no need to add water at all.  Continue to cook and stir until the temperature reaches 220 degrees.  


CANNING:

Transfer the hot applesauce into hot, sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Remove the air bubbles and wipe the rim clean.  Add cleaned, hot lids to the jars and apply the band until it is fingertip tight.  Process the jars in a boiling water canner covered for 20 minutes.  Carefully remove the jars and allow them to cool.  After 24 hours, check the lids to make sure they are properly sealed.  They should not move when the center is pressed down.  


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