Yield: 7 half-pint jars
Cook Time: 1 hour
5 pounds apples (a mixture of sweet apple varieties, such as Gala, Fuji, Rome, Golden Delicious, or Pink Lady will make the best applesauce)
1 lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar (more or less to taste)
8 ounces (2 cups) fresh or frozen blackberries
- Prepare canner and wash/sterilize 8 half-pint (or equivalent) mason jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use. Warm lids in hot (not boiling) water to sterilize and soften seal.
- Core and quarter apples, removing any obvious bruises or blemishes. Place apples in a large, heavy saucepan filled with 1 inch of filtered tap or spring water. Cover and simmer over high heat until apples are soft, about 10 to 20 minutes (cooking time will depending on the variety and ripeness of your apples).
- Meanwhile, cook blackberries in a small saucepan over medium heat until softened, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Run cooked apples and blackberries through a food mill*, discarding skins and seeds. Return mixture to saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add lemon juice, along with sugar to taste (the sweeter your apples, the less sugar you will need. Start with a little bit, then taste, and add more as desired).
- Ladle hot sauce into jars, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles, and carefully wipe jar rims and threads. Center lids and screw on ring bands until fingertip-tight. Place jars in water bath, ensuring they are completely covered by at least 1-inch with water. Bring to a full rolling boil and process for 15 minutes (20 minutes if you are using larger pint jars). Uncover and remove from heat; let sit for 5 minutes to allow the pressure to equalize. Carefully lift jars from water and arrange on a wire rack. Let cool completely, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 3 weeks.
*If you don't have a food mill, you’ll want to peel your apples first before coring and cooking them. After cooking, mash with a potato masher for a chunkier sauce, or puree in a food processor or blender (in batches if necessary) for a smoother sauce. Mash and strain your blackberries through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.
** Note from Chella The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes.**