How to Can Strawberry Applesauce
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Several months ago I saw these recipes for making homemade flavored applesauce. I had never thought to make my own flavored applesauce! My family loves applesauce but it gets kind of boring after awhile. Not anymore! I started out with strawberry applesauce, and it is really good!
If you have never made applesauce before, I wrote up the basic recipe a couple of years ago.
If you are making applesauce, you will want to find the most inexpensive (or free!) apples you can, especially if you want to make a lot of applesauce. Twenty pounds of apples only makes about 3 quarts or 6 pints of applesauce. If you have an apple tree, however, or know someone who does have one, this is a great way to use up apples that will otherwise go to waste. We picked our apples when we went camping a couple of weeks ago. There are wild apple trees in a lot of remote areas if you take the time to look for them.
Applesauce is really easy to make. You don't even have to measure anything. If you have a food mill, you don't even need to peel the apples. I use the Apple Master to peel and core the apples, and then the food mill to run the apples through after they are cooked. Then you will end up with silky smooth applesauce, just like from the store.
Fill up a large soup pan or stock pot with apples and a cup or so of water and just let them cook over low heat until they are very soft. If you have left the peels on, put the apples through a food mill to remove any skins. If you cooked the apples without the peels, you can use an immersion blender to blend up the apples right in the pan instead of using the food mill. You can also use a regular blender, but the immersion blender lets you blend them right in the pan.
To make flavored applesauce, just add the other fruit in with the apples and let it all cook together. I added about 6 cups of sliced strawberries to my last batch of applesauce. To another batch I added a package of cranberries to make cranberry applesauce. You can also add peaches or blueberries. One of my sons has requested that I make mango applesauce, so I think I will combine the peaches and mangos in the next batch.
After the applesauce is finished, you can add sugar. How much sugar you add depends on how sour the apples are. Some batches will need more sugar than others, depending on the other fruits you add also. You can also add cinnamon if you like.
You can store your applesauce in the refrigerator to eat in the next week or so, especially if you just made a small batch. Or you can freeze or can it for later. I just got this nifty Food Saver and I love it. You can also use ziploc freezer bags, but the applesauce will store longer in the freezer if you package it with a Food Saver.
To can the applesacue, pour the heated applesauce into clean sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth and place the clean lids and rings on the jars.
Process the jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes for pint jars or 20 minutes for quart jars.
Let the jars cool on a towel on the counter and make sure the lids have sealed before placing the jars in your pantry.
I picked more than 100 pounds of apples, so I will definitely be busy making homemade applesauce and apple pie jam. Pint sized jars of flavored applesauce also make great holiday gifts.
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