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2 1/2 pounds apples per quart - (to 3 1/2) -- see * Note
Water -- as needed
Sugar -- (optional)
* Note: Using a sweet variety eating apple may lessen the need for adding sugar.
Prepare Ball brand or Kerr brand jars and closures according to manufacturer's instructions.
Wash, stem and quarter apples; do not core or peel. Cook apples until soft in a large covered saucepot with just enough water to prevent sticking. Press apples and juice through a sieve or food mill to separate seeds and peel from the pulp.
Return apple pulp to saucepot. Add 1/4 cup sugar per pound of apples or to taste, if desired. Bring applesauce to a boil, stirring to prevent sticking. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.
Carefully ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles with a nonmetallic spatula. Wipe jar rim clean. Place lid on jar with sealing compound next to glass. Screw band down evenly and firmly just until a point of resistance is met -- fingertip tight.
Process pints and quarts 20 minutes in a boiling-water canner. At elevations higher than 1,000 feet, boil 2 additional minutes for each additional 1,000 feet elevation.
Recipe Variations: Spiced applesauce can be made by adding ground spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice to the sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking. For a chunky sauce, core and peel apples before they are cooked. Coarsely crush half of the cooked apples with a potato masher; press remaining apples through a sieve or food mill. Combine crushed and sauced apple mixtures; continue as for Applesauce.
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