Wondering what to do with that bountiful fall apple harvest? Here's an easy, safe way to can the apple sauce and enjoy your harvest all year Includes step-by-step directions for canning and apple leather.
Fill hot water canner 3/4 full and bring to a boil.
Steam apples until the skin splits.
Run through a sauce maker with seeds and skins still attached (I use a Roma sauce maker, but if you don't have access to something like this just peel and core the apples and then steam them until mushy and smash them through a strainer or ricer).
Place sauced apples in a very large pot.
Add sugar and sugar to taste (will take quite a bit of sugar for very tart apples or crab apples).
Add lemon juice to sweeter apples to taste or the sauce will taste rather flat.
Add water until the apple sauce is a little thinner than you would normally like it. It will thicken a little after canning.
Bring sauce to a boil over medium heat. Stir often!
After sauce is boiling gently, pour boiling water over brand-new canning lids in a small saucepan.
Place HOT applesauce into HOT jars and quickly cover with a HOT canning lid and WIPE JAR RIM CLEAN (fill up to 1/4 an inch from the top). Quickly screw rings on jars firmly. I usually do 4 jars at a time unless I have help.
After you have enough jars done to fill the hot water canner to capacity, boil pint jars in hot water for 15 minutes for elevation of 0-1000 feet; 20 minutes for 1001-3000 feet, 20 minutes for 3001-6000 feet and 25 minutes for 6000+ feet. Add 5 minutes for quart jars.
Remove jars from canner and allow to cool. Jars are safe for storage if you can press on the tops and they have no give (try one that is not sealed to see what I mean).
After cooled, slightly loosen or remove rings. Label jars with contents and year. Store in a cool, dry place. Enjoy!
******TIP: To make apple leather, simply place applesauce on a cookie sheet covered in plastic wrap. Dry in the oven at 180 degrees for 12+ hours(or use a dehydrator as directed). I store mine in the refrigerator and a year later they're still nice and soft.