Freezing and Preserving Applesauce
Freezing applesauce is super easy – actually as easy as putting cooled applesauce in a clean, freezer safe jar or bag and sticking it in the freezer. If you are using glass jars, just make sure you leave enough headspace since things expand when frozen. I always leave an inch to be safe. But if freezer space is at a minimum, applesauce is very easy to can in small batches.
If you’ve never canned anything before – don’t be scared! All you really need are a few canning jars and lids and a pot big enough to cover the jars with water. If you don’t have a canning toolkit handy, to help you with things like lifting hot jars out of boiling water, I would suggest preparing your clean jars by running them through the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. The jars need to be sterilized and you want to put warm applesauce in warm jars in warm water – the extreme difference in temperature can cause breakage.
- Fill your super large pot with enough water to cover your jars and let it come to a boil on the stove.
- Drop all of the lids and rings into a small pan, cover them with water and set them on the stove at a low temperature. You want the water to just barely come to a simmer, not a rapid boil. The lids should already be clean, this step is more about softening the wax seal on the lid so that it seals properly.
- When your delicious applesauce is ready, and your cans are clean and warm, ladle the hot applesauce into your cans, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of your jar.
- Make sure you remove any trapped air in the jars using a butter knife.
- Use a clean, damp cloth to carefully wipe any drips off the lip of the jar.
- Set the warm lids on top of the jar and gently tighten the rings into place, no need to crank them down.
- Set the filled jars into the pot of boiling water. If you have a jar lifter, now is a good time to use it. If not, use tongs but be very careful. I would consider using the smaller jar so that it is not so heavy. Make sure the water is at least an inch above the top of the jars. Bring the water back to a rolling boil. If you live at sea level, boil pint jars for 15 minutes and quart jars for 20 minutes.
- Remove the jars (CAREFULLY because they are very hot) from the water and set them on a towel in a place that they will not be bumped or touched and let them cool. It usually takes overnight.
The next day, just make sure the center of the lids were sucked down. Just press the center with your finger. If it doesn’t move up and down – Voila! You have nicely sealed applesauce. If not, just pop that one in the fridge and use it first.
Need a recipe for applesauce? Kristine in Between makes her’s in the crockpot and it is so good!!
If you live at a different altitude, you will need to adjust cooking times. Pick Your Own is a great resource for all things canning if you live on top of a very tall mountain.