Making Homemade Applesauce
If you’ve never had homemade applesauce, you don’t know what you’re missing! Storebought applesauce is so bland after tasting your own. It’s not that difficult to make and freeze or can the extra for later and you’ll enjoy it even more in the winter. I’ve been making and canning applesauce since I was a kid on the farm and love eating right out of the jar.
Usually, I go out scouting the area for wild apples in the autumn, but sometimes they are scarce. Some years I buy them from a local orchard or order juice grade organic apples from Azure Standard for our applesauce.
How to Make Easy Applesauce
- quartered apples
- removed seeds
- cooked them until tender
- cooled the apples
- strained them using a Victorio strainer
- cooked to thicken
- added lemon juice, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
You can make applesauce from any amount of apples quite easily and you really don’t need a recipe. I started by quartering the apples and removing any bad spots, along with the seeds and stems. I didn’t bother to remove the core because I wanted to try my Victorio strainer on a batch of applesauce to see how it worked. The seeds needed to come out because they contain arsenic and I didn’t want this toxin to leach into our sauce.
Next, I put the apples and a little bit of water into my heavy stainless steel stockpot and cooked them on our woodstove. When they were soft I removed them and cooled the pot down, then stuck it all in the fridge overnight.
For Smooth Applesauce…
I wanted this batch of applesauce to be smooth instead of chunky, so I put the apples through my Victorio strainer. The waste pulp was a bit on the wet side so I ran it through the strainer one more time to remove as much of the sauce as I could.
To enhance the natural flavor, I added lemon juice and some honey. These apples didn’t have a very sweet-tart flavor, and that’s how we like it. I also sprinkled a little nutmeg and cinnamon in and gave the whole thing a good stir, then cooked it down for a couple of hours on the woodstove to thicken it. The resulting applesauce is quite delicious and, although there isn’t enough to process in the water bath canner, I will freeze the extra sauce.
How to Can Homemade Applesauce
Prepare your applesauce according to the instructions above. Sweeten to taste and add some lemon juice if your applesauce tastes a bit bland. Applesauce is acidic enough to process in a water bath canner.
Keep the applesauce in the pan on a medium burner, stirring occasionally to keep it nice and hot until you are ready to process it. To can your applesauce:
- Fill a hot water bath canner with water, cover, and place on a burner on high.
- Place clean canning jars in the canner on the wire rack.
- Bring water to a rolling boil and boil jars for 20 minutes to sterilize.
- Prepare canning lids according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use a jar lifter to remove sterile jars from canner and set on a clean towel.
- Fill jars with piping hot applesauce to 1/4 inch from top of the jar.
- Use a clean cloth to wipe the top of the jar clean.
- Place canning lid on jar and screw on the metal screw band.
- Use a jar lifter to carefully place each jar of hot applesauce into the wire rack of your canner.
- Repeat until the canner is filled.
- Place the lid on your canner and bring the water back to a boil.
- Boil (process) quart jars of applesauce for 20 minutes and pint jars for 15 minutes from the time that water reaches a full boil.
- Carefully remove the jars from your canner and place on a cloth or towel to cool.
- Do not remove the screw bands until jars have cooled completely.
- Test to make sure the lids sealed properly – they will make a pinging sound when they seal and will not pull off easily. Properly sealed lids will not give when you press down on the center.
- After jars cool completely, remove the screw bands and wipe jars with a clean damp cloth to remove any applesauce that could get moldy around the mouth of the jar.
To Freeze Your Homemade Applesauce…
No time to can your applesauce? It’s easy to freeze it! Here’s how:
- Cool the applesauce completely
- Pack it into clean 1-quart freezer containers, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of headspace
- Press the lid on tightly
- Label your containers with the date and contents
- Freeze for up to 1 year
Even Easier Applesauce
Here is the easiest way to make a small batch of chunky applesauce:
- peel, quarter, and core apples
- chop coarsely
- microwave until tender
- sweeten with honey or sugar
- add cinnamon or nutmeg to taste
You can make enough for a meal or snack this way in just a few minutes.
A Super Easy Applesauce Treat
Here’s a really easy way to turn that applesauce into a desert!
- heat a bowl of applesauce in the microwave
- crumble graham crackers over the top or sprinkle with granola
- sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream
This tastes almost like apple pie, but it is much easier to make…especially if you use the quick applesauce recipe above! I hope this little time-saving tip provides an easy alternative for a fall treat.
What is your favorite way to make applesauce? Leave a Comment!
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