I took my mother’s tried and true applesauce recipe, replaced sugar with apple cider, and voila! A slightly less sweet but still delicious applesauce with three ingredients.
- Apple Cider (half gallon)
- Ground Cinnamon
- Cutting Board
- Chef’s Knife (large knife with sturdy blade)
- Two large pots
- Large Canning Pot
- Metal Rack
- Canning Funnel
- Glass bowl
- Food Mill
(using “medium” blade)
- Jar Lifter
- Dish towels
- Silicone Tipped tongs
I choose apples like Macintosh and Cortland, ideally those with some red on the skins. I’m not super helpful on amounts, because I play it by ear, but I’ll try to explain below based on how I prepare.
- Rinse apples thoroughly and cut them into large chunks with the knife. I place the apple on the cutting board and slice straight down with the knife around the core (leaving the core with four to five rectangular sides) which I discard. Examine the pieces for bruised or damaged sections and put good parts into one of the large pots (not the canning pot).
- Fill the pot most of the way with apples and then put a cup or two of apple cider into the pot. If you put in too much cider at this point, it won’t harm the finished product.
- Cover and turn on the heat until the cider comes to a boil then reduce to medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir the apples, trying to push some of the top apples down in the pot (to allow them to soften) and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Keep cooking on medium until the apples are very soft but not completely demolished.
- Turn off the heat and uncover. Place the food mill on top of the second large pot and ladle apple mixture into the food mill. Process the apple mixture into the second pot. The apple peels will get stuck and be annoying, but try to run all the apples through before emptying out the skin as this helps force more of the red color into the applesauce.
- Depending on how much applesauce you want to make, you can repeat the process, adding the second batch to the first (keeping the food mill on the second pot and just processing the new cooked apples into the second pot).
- Add 1/2 to 1 tsp of ground cinnamon to the applesauce and mix well. Turn on the heat and heat sauce briefly before canning.
- Prepare the jars, lids, and canning pot (see canning post for details)
- Wash the ladle and prep surface for canning. I usually wash down my cutting board and use that as a surface for canning (things will get messy during this part!)
- All jars should be waiting in the hot water in the canning pot. Use the jar remover or silicone tipped tongs to take out one jar at a time, and pour the water back into the pot. Place the funnel in the jar and ladle applesauce in to about 1/2″ from the top of the jar. Wipe down the top of the jar if needed. Use silicone tipped tongs to remove flat can top from bowl of hot water and place on top of the jar. Use the round ring to screw the lid on to fingertip tight. Use jar lifter or tongs to place the jar back in the pot of water and repeat.
- When all jars are filled and back in the water, ensure that the water completely covers the tops of the jars and bring the heat up to a rolling boil. Make sure you wait until the water is really boiling to begin counting (there will be air escaping from the jar lids so it can appear to be boiling sooner than it actually is). Process the jars for 20 minutes then turn the heat, uncover and let jars sit for 5 minutes before removing from the canning pot. Use the jar remover or tongs to place jars on a dish towel to cool and seal.