Makes about 8 (16 oz) pints
You will need:
12 lbs apples, peeled, cored, quartered, treated to prevent browning* and drained (about 36 medium)
3 cups granulated sugar, optional
4 Tbsp lemon juice
8 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) COMBINE apples with just enough water to prevent sticking in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 20 minutes, until apples are tender (time will depend upon the variety of apple and their maturity). Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3.) TRANSFER apples, working in batches, to a food mill or a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée until smooth.
4.) RETURN apple purée to saucepan. Add sugar, if using, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Maintain a gentle boil over low heat while filing jars.
5.) LADLE hot applesauce into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
6.) PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.