I tried canning applesauce with the Ball recipe that called for 1/2 inch headroom. The jars overflowed after I removed them from the canning kettle. So I planned to “re-can” them leaving more headroom. When I mentioned this to a friend, she asked why I was using the water bath method, saying she never did, but just put on the lids and rings and the jars “sealed themselves” because applesauce has no air in it. Can you weigh in on this?
Apples are notorious for oozing out of the jars when cooling, You can reduce this by letting them sit in the canner for a few more minutes, so they cool more slowly before you lift them out into room temperature.
If the lids seal, they should be safe to store even if they have overflowed. Clean the jars well so they don't attract insects or dust while in storage and keep an eye on them. Use the jars that overflowed first. You could also freeze the applesauce if you don't want to reprocess it.
We always recommend processing all canned fruits, including applesauce. The processing destroys any final molds, yeasts, bacteria that might be in the contents or air space in the jars so that they are shelf-stable. Without processing, applesauce is likely to mold or ferment if stored for any length of time. The jars will seal even if not processed, because as the contents cool, the will create a vacuum that seals the lid, but if not all the pathogens were destroyed they could still grow in the sealed jars.
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