Preserving the Harvest - Wildcrafting & Foraging

Making Applesauce from Wild Apples

wild apples
wild apples
These apples came from a tree on an old farm. I think they are Golden Delicious.

How to Make Applesauce with Wild Apples

If you have an abundance of wild apples available, check out my post How to Use Wild Apples for more ideas on how to use them. I’ve been busy for the last few days turning a feed bag full of wild apples into apple sauce. Our neighbors gave me a call and asked if I’d like some apples. They have several trees that they don’t spray. Most of the apples are either eaten fresh, if they look good, or their horses and dogs eat them. Yes, their dogs are little apple hounds. 🙂

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So I grabbed my handy fruit picker, some boxes, and feed bags and headed over to harvest. There were so many apples that I really couldn’t pick and use them all right away, but I loaded up plenty of wormy fruit for the chickens and ducks, and plenty of nice fruit to turn into applesauce.

Making Applesauce

I start by filling my sink with apples, rinsing them, and cutting out the bad spots and cores. The chunks, with the skin still on, go into a large stainless steel stock pot to cook down until they are quite soft. Since we have the wood stove stoked up to heat the house, I cooked my apples on top of it instead of turning the electric stove on. When they are soft enough, I run them through a food mill (also called a Foley mill) to remove the skins.

applesauce in a food mill
A food mill, or Foley mill, strains out the skins.

The applesauce is then heated back up to boiling, poured into quart or pint-sized jars, and processed in a hot water bath canner. For our elevation, pints are processed for 15 minutes and quarts for 20 minutes. Be sure to follow proper canning instructions (you can find them on the National Center for Home Preservation’s website).

If you like, you can add sugar to your applesauce as you heat it up to ladle into jars. I only add sugar if the sauce tastes like it needs some. You can also add cinnamon or other spices if you like more flavor.

This is the second batch of homemade applesauce I’ve made from wild apples this fall. I canned 18 pints of sauce 2 weeks ago from apples shared by a lady on Freecycle. (She was very nice and I brought her a dozen fresh eggs from my hens when I went over to pick. ) Now I have my second batch of the day in the canner for a total of 12 quarts today.

I love having home-canned applesauce on my shelves for the winter. It tastes so much better than store-bought and it’s a great feeling to have food put up and ready to use whenever we need it!

6 Comments on “Making Applesauce from Wild Apples

  1. Lisa, I have made applesauce for years with the apples in our yard. In the past I would peel, strain and do all that prep work but for the past 5 years or so, I decided I wanted the extra fiber. I just wash the apples really well, core and cook them. Sometimes I chop them into smaller pieces but if I’m feeling lazy, I just halve them and take out the stem and seeds. Then I cook them all down in a big pot and throw a cup or two at a time in the blender to make the peels smaller. I honestly think that it makes the applesauce tastier and prettier to have the peels in there. Of course I don’t put in bad pieces of peel but as long as the skins are healthy, in they go! Saves me gobs of time!! My family LOVES applesauce!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing on the blog hop! I’ve always wanted to make applesauce. I actually was just talking to my sister about this yesterday! Just pinned it to my canning board!

  3. Sorry I haven’t been round for a while for my little dose of Country livin’! We’re having pork tonight so you have inspired me to make some home made Apple sauce, though won’t be the same without the windfalls from the paddock. Your Apple sauce is such a lovely rich pink colour… 🙂
    I never thought to give the crazy poodle some apple, Maybe I’ll be generous and give him some apple cores!
    Have a great week
    Wren x

    1. Thanks for stopping by for a visit, Wren! Pork with applesauce sounds yummy! Don’t give your dog too many apple cores, the seeds can be toxic if they have too many. Have a great day!

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