canning chunky applesauce using your slow cooker
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Homemaking,  Preserving

Canning Chunky Applesauce

Today I had the luxury of canning chunky applesauce, with apples fresh from the orchard. Guess what this means??

It’s officially fall!

My favorite time of the year!

There are so many wonderful things to do with your family and the weather is just perfect for spending time outside.

*If you’re looking for fall activities to enjoy with your family, I have a list of 80 fall activities you can do as a family over at my blog thecomplexmom.com)

Last week we made a trip out to the orchard. We were pretty lucky to find a small Amish orchard. They don’t spray their apples and sell them for $17 a bushel. This is quite the steal for organic farm fresh apples!

Not to mention they were friendly and helpful and took down our number so we can pick up fresh apple cider in the next coming weeks!

Would you like to try your hand at canning your own chunky applesauce? It’s so easy to do!

Canning Chunky Applesauce With Slowcooker
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Supplies Needed

canning supplies
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Once you have your supplies gathers you’ll want to start prepping your apples so you can get them cooking.

Peeling apples for canning chunky applesauce
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This apple peeler made the job so easy. It took off all of the imperfections and did the slicing and coring for me.

It’s so easy my kids were helping me!

Apple peels
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I have fond memories of hanging out in my grandmas kitchen while she peeled apples for pies. She used a similar peeler and we would sit and talk while she peeled and I ate the long stringy pieces of skin.

My boys were in and out of the kitchen all day peeling an apple here and there and walking away with long strings of apple peels. I hope one day they have the same fond memories.

Not cooking the skins and peels creates some waste but between the pigs and compost pile, no apples were wasted here today.

slow cooker apples for applesauce
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Let me start by saying that I had an entire day to can these apples. It was a cool day but we don’t have central air and I avoid running the stove at all costs in an effort to keep the kitchen nice and cool.

I decided to cook my apples down in a slow cooker. For me this mean I did four batches, each cooking for 2-3 hours before canning my next batch.

This worked out perfectly for me so I could skip out in the morning for church, work on laundry, and play with the kids in between canning sessions.

If you’re looking for something faster paced and you don’t mind having the stove on for a few hours this can easily be done in a big stock pot on the stove.

mashing cooked apples into chunky applesauce
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I peeled until I had my 8qt slow cooker full and would set the timer for 3 hours on high. Add just a bit of water to prevent them from burning on the bottom.

On the top of the first hour, I’d open it up and mash them down some. I’d do that again at the top of the next hour and they were usually ready to be canned by that point.

chunky applesauce ready to can
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My husband likes them chunky so I’d mash them a bit until they were to our preferred consistency. You can continue to cook and mash until you’re happy with them.

You can even run them through the blender or food processor at this point if you’d prefer them to be more of a puree.

About a half hour before you suspect your apples will be ready, you’ll want to fill your water bather and get the water heating up. It takes quite a bit of time to get the water hot, so start early.

You’ll then want to keep it hot by running the stove for about five minutes every half hour or so through out your canning process.

Make sure there is enough to just cover the lids of the jars.

If you’d like to add cinnamon this would be the time to do it. My ball book says just 5 minutes before you’re ready to put them in jars.

I added a teaspoon to each slow cooker batch and wish I would have added a second teaspoon.

filling jars of chunky applesauce
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In order to start canning you’ll want to heat up your jars and seals. The easiest way to heat jars is in the dishwasher, but I don’t have one so I put some really hot water in the sink to soak them in as I was working.

If your processing time is over 10 minutes you do not need to sanitize your jars ahead of time.

Your lids should be kept hot in a small pot on the stove.

Use a funnel and a ladle to start filling your warmed jars with your chunky applesauce. leave an inch or so of headspace. It really expands in the heat.

nce filled, my crock pot gave me four jars at a time, wipe the lips of your jars, place the seal on the jars and screw down the rings until tight.

water bather for canning chunky applesaue
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At this point your water bather should be at a rolling boil.

With the canner insert lifted up, place your jars in the water bather and carefully lower into the water. Replace your lid.

As soon as the rolling boil starts back up, start your timer for twenty minutes.

canned chunky applesaue
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After twenty minutes of processing, remove jars and place aside to start cooling.

Make sure to listen to the pop, pop, pop! of your jars sealing. Music to your ears on canning day.

Any jars that do not properly seal, stick in your fridge for dinner!

Happy canning!

Canning Homemade Grape Juice

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