Start by washing your apples. Once that is done, cut into quarters; skins, seeds and all.
Put these quarters into a large stockpot. If your apples are really dry, you need to add about a gallon of water to a very large stockpot full. If your apples are very juicy, you need little to no water. You will have to gauge it by the juiciness of your apples, so that they do not burn.
Put your stockpot on the stove, start, and stir often; about every few minutes.
After the apples are cooked down, while it is still hot, run all your hot, mushy apples through your food mill. The result will be applesauce!
Apple Butter (skip this part if you just want to can your sauce)
To fill one canner with quart jars:
28 cups applesauce (or 7 quart jars)
4 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Put into oven or roaster pan, and cook at 350F and cook it down for 5-9 hours. You want it to be thick so that when you stir it with a spoon, it has the consistency of jelly. You will have to watch your particular batch to see how long that takes.
Prepping for canning
Fill your canner half way with water, and turn on. Put your empty jars in your oven on ‘warm’. If your oven doesn’t have a ‘warm’ setting, just put it on the lowest setting it has.
When everything is hot/warm, you are ready for the next step.
Fill your hot jars with the hot applesauce, leaving an inch of head space in the top of your jar. Put a butter knife down the insides of your jar (between the glass and the sauce) to let out any air bubbles in the jar/sauce. Wipe your rims clean with a rag or paper towel to remove any sauce. If you don’t do this, it can prevent your lids from sealing tightly to your jar.
Put on your pre-warmed lids and screw on your rings tightly. Put your jars into your warm water in your canner, with a jar lifter, pictured below.
After all the jars are in the canner, you want your water to be one inch above the jars for water bathing. Turn on high. When the water starts to boil, set your timer for 20 minutes for quart jars or 15 minutes for pint jars. Turn stove to medium heat. When timer goes off, turn heat off, and let canner sit for 5 minutes. Then, carefully take out your jars with a jar lifter and set them on a towel on your countertop to cool. If your bands are loose, do not tighten them.
Cool for 12 hours. Check seals and store.
The reason you want to check the seals is to make sure they are all secure before you store them.
You check the seals by tapping the jar lids with one finger. As you tap them, listen for a jar that sounds different than the rest of them. It will usually make a hollow sound.
If you find a jar that hasn’t sealed, put it in the fridge and use it soon. If you are planning more canning, you can try to can it again. Make sure there are no nicks in the top of jar and a good lid on it.