Update 8/2011 - I just finished my 2nd year of making Applesauce, and this year the cooking time was much longer.. In 2010 I used Granny Smith apples and in 2011 I used Gala apples. So, just note that you may need to adjust the cooking time, depending on what type of apple you are using.
Also, making applesauce is really hard to explain, because it really just depends on your preference of taste and consistency. So, just have a little faith in yourself and have some fun!
My batches consist of:
14-20 Apples (depending on the apples size) (cored/peeled/sliced)
Approx 4 cups water (just depends on how chunky you like it)
1./2 to 1 cup sugar (How sweet do you want it?)
1 tsp cinnamon
I like my applesauce a little chunky vs pureed. So, if you like it not as chunky then you will just want to add a little bit more water. Just pay attention to how much you use on your first batch and you'll be able to make adjustments to what you like.
First off, get your jars in the dishwasher early enough that they are clean and hot by the time you need to fill them. My dishwasher has about a 2 hour wash cycle, so I got them loaded and going about 45 minutes before I got started. Also, get your water bath canner filled with water and a small pot to boil the lids in.
Then I used my new Apple Corer/Peeler/Slicer to prepare my apples. If you don't have one of these you can do it by hand, but it will take you forever. I was able to just stick them right in the pot on the stove without having put them in cold water to wait while I finish them all. If you do prepare them by hand then you will want to get a large bowl of cold water along with some fruit fresh to keep the apples from browning while you get them all prepared.
I let the apples boil at at a med-high heat in the 4 cups of water. The Granny Smith apples boiled much faster. They only boiled about 30 minutes per batch. The Gala apples took more like 50 minutes. The Granny Smith apples broke down much easier. They were nearly the consistency that I wanted at the end of the 30 minutes. I barely had to use the potato masher. The Gala apples were cooked, but it would have taken me forever to get it the Consistency I wanted by hand. So, I pulled out my food processor! Just make sure all the apples are soft and cooked before you finished the boiling process!. Then add the 1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon and mix.
Get your water bath canner water boiling while your apples cook. Also, get the lids in some water boiling in a small sauce pan.
I then filled the jars. It is really nice if you have a canner funnel so the edges of your can don't get messy. I pretty much always just take a rag and wipe of the rim to make sure it is clean though.
I didn't take a picture of them in the water bath canner, but I canned them for about 25 minutes. Allow them to cool and make sure all the lids pop!
Ta-da applesauce! Like I said I got 37 pints out of my box of apples and it is super yummy!