No doubt that no one can make applesauce like my grandmother used to, partly because she said what made it so good was her loving fingers. I believe her. Although we don’t have my grandmother’s pretty hands and smiling face with us anymore we do have her method and I am willing to share her method with you (lucky). So first things first, if you don’t already have a pressure cooker please go out and get one now. I would look in thrift shops and second hand stores first to find the best economic value. More than likely you will be able to find one in good condition that will last you for quite a while. If you are unable to find one used you will have no trouble finding one new in any major department store that carries kitchen appliances. Good luck on your hunt!
When making applesauce the apples are very important. Great care should be taken when obtaining your apples. My grandmother and I would get a bushel of apples from the tree that lived behind our house. If you don’t have your own apple tree you can always go out to an orchard (for a small fee) and pick your own apples. The next best thing would be to buy them from a farmers market pre-plucked. As a last option you can always get them from a grocery market. After we picked the plumpest apples we would bring them inside to wash, peel, take the core out, and cut them into chunks. Now we were ready to plop them into some water inside the pressure cooker. Next we would add two or three whole cinnamon sticks (Which never failed to surprise my cousin. He always thought that we had somehow put apple tree branches in there by accident.), some honey to taste (to lightly sweeten), and if it’s to your liking a smidge of butter.
The funny thing about my grandmother is that she never measured anything out yet somehow it was always consistent and always yummy. After being in the cooker for what seemed like forever (though in retrospect it probably was more like ten minutes or so). She would take the pressure cooker off of the heat source and let it stand for a while before opening it. Inside the pot magic had happened. The smells were fantastic and would fill our whole house. It was great. During the next step we would fill the quart sized Mason jars (32 Oz or 946.35 mL) almost to the tippy top with our homemade applesauce. Next lay on the flat part of the lid and then lay on the ring part screwing it down firmly. Fill the cooker with two or three inches of water, making sure you put the pressure cookers rack in before you place the jars inside. Tightly close up the cooker with seals in place. Turn the heat on high and wait for the steam.
Once the steam starts check your gauge to make sure it is at five or six pounds of pressure. Let the pressure cooker cook for about ten to fifteen minutes. Keep an eye on your cookers gauge to make sure everything is going smoothly. If there is excessive rattling, reduce the heat a tiny bit. Once the time is up (10 -15 min.) reduce the heat slowly until the pressure cookers gauge is at zero. Be careful when taking the lid off as the steam rising up could burn your skin. Take the jars out using tongs and place them on a cooling rack. The lids will make a popping noise when they cool. This popping noise will let you know that your can of yummy applesauce is sealed. Let the jars stand overnight.
In the morning take the rings off to check that the lid is sealed. If the lids are sealed replace the rings and put the jars in storage. If the lid is not sealed eat the applesauce right away or throw it out. You now know how to make a jar of grandma’s old fashioned applesauce to enjoy with your family for generations to come.