36 apples, peeled, cored, quartered
3 cups granulated sugar
4 Tbsp lemon juice
8 pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
Prepare water bath canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
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). Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Transfer apples, in batches to a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée until smooth.
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 filling jars.
Ladle hot applesauce into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
Process jars in a water bath canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours.