If someone had asked me last year what was the reason why I wanted to learn to can, I'd have told them "Applesauce." I've frozen it, but I've never canned it and it's IMHO that canned applesauce rocks.
Since starting out this year as a novice to the canning world, I've canned peaches, jams, pickles, salsas and tomatoes. Pretty basic stuff. Cutting my teeth on all of that has been, not only fun, but also pretty demanding. A new learning curve. Canning is to freezing, like cooking is to baking. You can be a great cook but a lousy baker. Since freezing is about protection, it's simple enough. Canning...as you all have pointed out...has rules. Do NOT break the rules.
But applesauce is why I'm here. The gold star. The crowning jewel.
So imagine my surprise that the Ball Blue Book's recipe for applesauce is as simple as can be. It's almost as though they're shrugging their shoulders. "Do what you want." All you need are apples, sweeten it to taste (or not) and add seasoning if you want it. It seems that the only "rule" out there is to have the applesauce boiling when you ladle it into the hot jars.
Whoo Hoo! (*You see I was nervous thinking that in order to get my applesauce the way I like it, I'd have to freeze it. If I wanted it canned, I'd have to follow their recipe.)
So that's what I've spent this morning doing. Two batches of chunky cinnamon applesauce under my belt. 13 jars total. And I still have a case of apples left to do.
I started out mixing Cortland's with my beloved Mac's. Mac's are so soft, I like to toss in a firmer, tarter apple so I can get a chunkier sauce.
I like to use lemon juice (with water), brown sugar and Saigon Cinnamon. I buy this cinnamon at Sam's Club. Boy, is this good stuff! Taste testing as I went along, my morning zipped by quick!
So I've got a head start on the "saucing season" this weekend with 2 months to go. Last year I ran out in January :( so I plan on putting up lots of jars of applesauce.
I'd also like to put up some applesauce using Splenda brown sugar for SM (diabetic). Has anyone canned applesauce with Splenda before? I'm concerned about the taste. I'd rather freeze the Splenda applesauce (like I did last year) than ruin it by canning.
The house smells SO good right now that SM asked for some pancakes (with fresh cinnamon applesauce on top!)
Better than IHOP, I can tell you that!