One thing I miss about living up north is apple season. We'd pack up the children and go to a local apple orchard to buy sacks of perfect apples and several gallons of apple cider.
The tiny, misshapen or badly-bruised fruit were given to the horses over a period of time. Now they're expecting me to bring them apples. (Sorry, sweeties, they've all been picked from the trees now and you've eaten all the apples I'm going to give you.)
I know from experience that we don't care much for applesauce. I made a lot the first year we had fruit and we ate hardly any of it. Another year I canned a lot of apple pie filling, and then read that it's too thick to can safely. Now I freeze some some apple pie filling every year instead of canning it.
Apples, like other fruits, are acidic enough to can in a waterbath canner. A large stockpot can be used as long as it has a lid and a rack that fits inside to put the jars on. Of course, a graniteware canner holds a lot more jars than a stockpot will.
How to Can Apples
Sterilize your jars (I use the dishwasher) and keep them warm until you're ready to fill them. Put the flat lids in a small pan and keep them in warm water. Make your syrup in another pan and keep it hot; you'll use this to fill the jars after you add the apples.
Add water to your canning kettle or stockpot and begin heating it. Don't bring it to a boil yet.
Blanching the apples will give you a better result than raw packing them. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the apple slices. Once the water begins boiling again, cook the apples for five minutes. Repeat if needed until all of the apple slices have been cooked.
When time is up, move the canner off the burner, remove the lid and carefully remove the jars with a jar lifter. Don't tilt the jars or bump them against the canner or other jars; set the carefully on a padded surface out of drafts, and leave them for 24 hours.
After 24 hours you can carefully wash the jars with a damp cloth, remove the rings, label the jars and move them to your storage area. You did it!
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