Homemade Applesauce!

Monday, October 9, 2017
This summer has been crazy!  Wait, it's fall?  Already?  In fact it's October you say? I can't believe how fast this year is flying by. Actually fall is my favorite season, all pumpkin spice and everything nice.  At least it is my favorite until spring comes along then spring is my favorite season, everything new again and flowers blooming, gardens being planted.  Ah, yes, I'm a fickle one.

But back to fall.  What could be more fall-like than warm comfort foods and spices in the air?  Baking and cooking, now that it is cooler weather is something that I love to do, and one of my favorite things to make during the fall is applesauce.

Applesauce has to be one of the easiest things you can make.  There are only two ingredients you need; apples and a little water.  Of course you can always add in cinnamon to spice things up (we always do) or even apple pie spice.  And if you want to give it a deeper flavor, you can add in apple cider instead of the water.

The most important thing to do however is to start with good quality apples.  This is really what makes the applesauce.  Growing up my parents had several apple trees.  The one that they always used for making stewed apples (a chunkier version of applesauce), apple butter, and apple pie filling was a variety called Grimes Golden.  It cooked up beautifully, was sweet without needing much, if any, sugar added and it didn't have a mealy texture.

Blooms on one of our apple trees

Never heard of this apple?  Well I am not surprised, and if you have, then you rock! You really can't find this apple in stores today.  It is an heirloom variety and was first introduced in the 1830s.  It is considered a "parent" of the Golden Delicious apple among many other apples that are popular today.

Ok, enough of the history lesson!

To make homemade applesauce, first use apples that are good for cooking, and are on the sweet side.  If you use Granny Smith (which it is perfectly acceptable to do), then you will need some sugar added.  I prefer not to add any sugar.  Good varieties to use are: Golden Delicious, Fuji, and McIntosh.  These aren't the only ones you can use, but I wanted to list just a few that are readily available in the stores.  You can use just about any apple, just be cautious however, because apples like Red Delicious can be mealy in their texture and aren't the best for cooking.

Peeled and cored apples ready to be cooked

Once you have your apples, you will need to start peeling and coring all the apples.  It is best to purchase a peeler, especially if you want to continue to make applesauce, or you can do it by hand.  Don't throw out those peels and cores!  You can save them and make some amazing apple jelly or apple syrup!

Apple peels and cores that will become jelly

Put your peeled and cored apples in a big pot, a stock pot is perfect for this!  Add a little water, or apple cider.  Depending on how many apples, you can use 1 cup to 2 cups. For the 1/2 bushel I was cooking, I used 2 cups.  You don't need a lot of liquid as the apples will cook down, you just need something to keep them from burning on the bottom.  Put the heat on low to medium low and let them cook, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on them and if you need to add more liquid, you can.

Once they have cooked down to the consistency that you like add in any spices that you wish.  We love cinnamon in ours.  You can also have your apples go au natural if you choose.  We also love to leave our applesauce a little chunky.  If you want a smooth consistency, you can use an immersion blender, or use a regular blender, just do it in batches.

Homemade applesauce, looks so good!

After it is all cooked down and to the consistency you like, you can preserve them by canning them, which is what we do. You can also let the applesauce cool and then put them in freezer safe containers to freeze. Or the best option you can eat it immediately!  If you decide to can them, you can do this using a water bath.  Just be sure and follow safe canning procedures.

Pint jars just going into a waterbath

There is absolutely nothing better than homemade applesauce.  If you have never made anything from scratch, this is one of the easiest recipes you can start with.  And I guarantee, once you start making your own, you will never want to buy pre-made again.

Let me know in the comments below if you have ever made homemade applesauce, and if you have, let me know how you make yours.


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