Problems with Canning Applesauce

debby417October 11, 2010

I have made applesauce in the past and simply froze the jars. This year I wanted to actually 'can' it, so I tried the hot water bath method as outlined in the Ball Blue Book Guide. I did one small batch and had one jar that leaked and looked like it had about 1/2" or so of what must be water at the bottom of the jar. The lid sealed properly, but the water looking stuff at the bottom concerned me. I did the rest of my bushel of apples in two batches, making sure to tighten the rings as tight as I could get them before putting in the hot water bath. Every single jar has some amount of again, what must be water at the bottom of the jar. Everywhere from a tiny amount to as much as 3/4". The jars are all properly sealed. Are they safe to store at room temperature? I have searched the web looking for answers, but can't come up with anything. I can't decide if they're unsafe to store and eat, or not to worry about it since it's probably only water that leaked into the jar and they sealed up properly.

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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

It isn't water seeping into the jars. That doesn't happen.
It is the water from the applesauce itself just separating.
Sometimes it is because you made it too thick. That is the main problem people make, they make their sauce too thick. It should be somewhat runny, it should move in the jars. It isn't apple paste or applebutter, it is apple sauce.
Sauce is thin. Check the store stuff and you will see it is not all that thick.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 12:38PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

The commercial process for applesauce (and tomatoes) is different so the product doesn't separate. But the homemade does, especially if the applesauce is thick, as Linda_Lou mentioned.

So call it water or apple juice, that's what's at the bottom of the jar. All you need to do is stir the applesauce when you serve it. (And do can a thinner sauce next time.)


    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 1:08PM
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Interesting - I have never had applesauce separate -didn't know it would do that.

But I can mine up to use for other things (not plain eating) so I cook the apples until they are mush, run them through through the mill, reheat so it's HOT and put it in the jars.

Though it's thick enough to "burp" if I don't keep stirring it well. Sure do hate having an eruption of applesauce!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 2:25PM
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val_s(z5 central IL)

I make mine the same way as Macy. I know it's probably too thick for some people but that's the way we like it. So far (knock on wood) I haven't had any separation, leakage or jars not sealing. Lucky, I guess.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 4:39PM
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I wonder if this is affected by how much water is used to cook the apples. I only put enough in the bottom of my big electric roaster so the apples won't burn. I can fit 30 quartered apples in at one time - I remove the blossom and stem but leave the peel and seeds.

Then I turn the temp to about 275- 300 and leave them for several hours until I have no hard apples (I stir it a time or two).

When I want to make juice, I do the same but add about 12 cups of water, and I still get juice that is quite thick.

I peeled my last apple yesterday! I am so glad to be done with apples!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 7:41PM
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I made mine also. And I'm glad to be done with them!!! mine turned out very thick. I used my kitchenaid mixer, strainer attachment. I added water to the sauce. It turned out better that way.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 1:18PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I've gotten a lot of good ideas and recipes from Linda Amendt (though I don't share her obsession with liquid pectin), but it's a pick-and-choose-with-care thing because she tends to go her own way and doesn't necessarily follow standard practice.

I give her credit. When I emailed her about her canned fruit curds (with egg and butter) she responded speedily and did acknowledge in a follow-up that her recipes aren't tested.

Given the nature of most of her recipes, I'd say the risk is small, but there isn't certainty.

At least, though, she responded with an answer. I never did get a definitive answer on the safety or testing of some of the problematic recipes in the new Williams-Sonoma preserving book. I wouldn't recommend that one.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 3:28PM
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Yep, I was really amazed when my husband tossed an entire gallon of cider into my batch before pronouncing it "sauce". I thought it looked pretty good but I never buy appeal sauce from the store and this was my first attempt. My mom used to make it when I was a kid so I couldn't stand store bought.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 2:45PM
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