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Spiced Applesauce
Total 1 day and 2 hours (includes resting time)
Active 60 mins
Makes Eight 16-ounce jars
My boys absolutely love applesauce, so I make a big, steaming pot every year. It is a tradition in our family to walk down to the apple orchard planted by my great uncle, baskets in hand. Together, we harvest the apples from the old trees at peak season, making and canning the applesauce to capture the sweet flavors of fall to enjoy all year long. I love to top pork chops with a dollop of spiced applesauce, and sometimes I find the boys eating it straight from the jar.
TIP: Be sure to wash the apples well before using them in canning and to discard all the bruised or distressed parts of the fruit. After peeling the apples, drop them into a large bowl of cold water to hold the color. Tossing the apples with lemon juice also helps them hold their color; this step also increases the acidity, so do not skip it. Properly handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for one year. Making sure hands, equipment and surfaces in your canning area are clean is the first step in canning. Tips: Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with glass, plastic or metal lids that have a rubberlike seal. Two-piece metal lids are most common. To prepare jars before filling: Wash jars with hot, soapy water, rinse them well and arrange them open-side up, without touching, on a tray. Jars have to be sterilized only if the food to be preserved will be processed for less than 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath or pressure canner. To sterilize jars, boil them in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 10 minutes. Follow manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and preparing lids and bands. Use tongs or jar lifters to remove hot sterilized jars from the boiling water. Be sure the tongs are sterilized too: Dip the tong ends in boiling water for a few minutes before using them. All items used in making jams, jellies, preserves and pickles must be clean, including any towels and especially your hands. After the jars are prepared, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products. Find information on canning at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website: http://nchfp.uga.edu/.
Special Equipment
Eight 16-ounce canning jars with bands and new lids, canning pot and rack, pressure canner and rack, jar lifter, canning funnel, lid wand
Special Equipment
Eight 16-ounce canning jars with bands and new lids, canning pot and rack, pressure canner and rack, jar lifter, canning funnel, lid wand
Ingredients
    • 6 heaping cups chopped peeled apples (about 3 1/2 pounds; see Cook's Note)
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
    Directions
    1. Prepare the jars: Wash eight 16-ounce canning jars with bands and new lids in hot, soapy water, then rinse well. Place the rack in the canning pot and begin filling the pot with warm tap water; while doing so, fill each of the jars with water and place them in the pot. Add enough water to the pot so the jars are covered by 2 inches. Add the bands and lids to help ensure a good seal. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Keep the pot covered until ready to fill the jars.
    2. Prepare the canner: Place the rack inside the pressure canner and fill the bottom with 2 to 3 inches of warm water. Rub olive oil around the beveled edge of the rim to help ensure the pressure canner will be tightly sealed.
    3. Prepare the apple sauce: Add just enough water (about 1/4 cup) to cover the bottom of a large, heavy duty cooking pot. Add the apples and lemon juice and toss together using a wooden spoon. Turn on the heat to medium, add the sugar, and mix well to coat the fruit evenly. Add the cinnamon and ginger and mix to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until the apples are cooked through but still holding their shape, about 15 minutes. With the heat still on, use a potato masher to crush the apples to the desired texture.
    4. Fill the jars: It is important to handle the jars carefully and to work with one at a time, keeping the pot covered. Both the jar and the product should be hot. Lay a clean kitchen cloth down on the flat surface where you will be packing the jars. Use a jar lifter to pull the first jar and pour out the water into the pot. Insert a canning funnel into the jar mouth. Ladle the applesauce into the jar, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Run a wooden skewer around the inside of the jar to remove air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, wet cloth to ensure that nothing will interfere with the seal. Using a lid wand, lift a hot lid and band out of the water bath. Place the lid on the jar. Screw the band over the lid and tighten it until you meet with some resistance. Do not overtighten. Lift the full, closed jar into the pressure canner using the jar lifter. Repeat to fill the remaining jars.
    5. Process the jars: Pressure canners vary and it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions specific to your equipment and specific to the altitude at which you are cooking. The directions here are for a manual pressure canner. Close and tighten the clamps around the lid to securely fasten. Turn the heat to high until you observe steam coming out consistently from the vent pipe for 10 minutes. Then set the pressure regulator weight for cooking at 5 PSI. Always take a moment to pay attention to the processing time and weight setting specific to the recipe you are following. Adjust the temperature until the weight only rattles between one and four times per minute. Set a timer to process the jars for 8 minutes. It is essential to process the jars for the full time.
    6. At the end of the processing time, turn off the heat. Let the canner cool until the pressure gauge drops to zero, then remove the pressure regulator weight with an oven mitt. Wait 2 more minutes before carefully opening the clamps and removing the lid of the pressure cooker, tilting it away from yourself to avoid the hot steam. Carefully use the jar lifter to remove the jars to a cooling rack or a flat surface lined with a cloth. Leave a little bit of space between the jars.
    7. Let sit undisturbed for 24 hours. You’ll know the lids are properly sealed by the popping noise they make; this may happen right away or much later. Also, the dimple on the top of the lid should be flat and the lid concave. Write the date on the jar lid and keep in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Any jars that are not properly sealed should be refrigerated and used within 1 month.
      Properly handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for one year. Making sure hands, equipment and surfaces in your canning area are clean is the first step in canning. Tips: Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with glass, plastic or metal lids that have a rubberlike seal. Two-piece metal lids are most common. To prepare jars before filling: Wash jars with hot, soapy water, rinse them well and arrange them open-side up, without touching, on a tray. To sterilize jars, boil them in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 10 minutes. Jars have to be sterilized only if the food to be preserved will be processed for less than 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath or pressure canner. To sterilize jars, boil them in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 10 minutes. Follow manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and preparing lids and bands. Use tongs or jar lifters to remove hot sterilized jars from the boiling water. Be sure the tongs are sterilized too: Dip the tong ends in boiling water for a few minutes before using them. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies, preserves and pickles must be clean, including any towels and especially your hands. After the jars are prepared, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products. Find Information information on canning can be found at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website: http://nchfp.uga.edu/.