Homemade applesauce

Homemade applesauce is easy to prepare you can also adjust levels and combinations of sweetner and spices to satisfy your tastes.

The Garden of Eating
Homemade applesauce is easy to prepare you can also adjust levels and combinations of sweetner and spices to satisfy your tastes.

Applesauce is incredibly easy to make and almost always tastes much better than anything you can buy in a store.

The only time-consuming part is peeling and coring all the apples but even that is made easier by doing the work with a friend or family member. You can also speed it way up with one of these awesome, hand-powered apple peeler-corer-slicer thing-a-ma-bobs.

We learned about these sweet, old-fashioned machines at our son's nursery school where they used one several times a week to the great delight of all the kids. Even a two-year-old can use it with a little assistance. We finally decided to shell out the $20 to get one and are so glad we did!

The texture of the sauce is completely up to you – you can make it chunky or smooth or somewhere in between. You can also tailor the spices to your liking and can add berries or peaches or other fruit if you like (though you may need to add more sugar). The amount and kind of sweetener you add is also up to you – you can add sugar, honey, maple syrup, or nothing at all.

It's also totally kosher to skip the peeling altogether. In fact, the peels provide added nutrition and give the sauce a nice pink color. If you prefer to leave the peels on, try to you use organic apples to make sure you avoid pesticides. One caveat: if you like your sauce chunky, it's probably better to peel the apples. I typically puree my sauce when I leave the peels on to avoid getting any whole pieces of apple skin.

If you want to make a big batch, applesauce makes a great gift. Before my older son was born, I had enough time on my hands to paint a picture of an apple using my much-beloved yet rarely used set of gouaches and make labels for the jars. I can assure you that no such time-intensive, creative venture has occurred since he was born but it was nice while it lasted.

If you want to try canning your sauce but are new to preserving, please read my Canning 101 post before you get started.

Makes 4-6 servings
3 pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2" chunks (the smaller the chunks, the more quickly it will cook)
1/2 cup liquid – apple juice, apple cider, or just plain water
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
2 cinnammon sticks
1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup honey (optional and to taste)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Ground nutmeg, cloves, ginger and mace to taste (I would not use more than 1/4-1/2 teaspoons of any of these though)

1. Place the apples in a large pot and add the water. Cover and simmer over medium low heat until the apples have softened – 15-20 minutes.

2. Add the sweetener and spices and stir well. Cook another five minutes then remove from the heat.

3. Remove the cinnamon sticks and discard. If you like your applesauce chunky, just crush the mixture with a large spoon or potato masher until it reaches the desired consistency. If you prefer your sauce smooth, you can either process in the pot with an immersion blender or you can transfer to a blender, food processor or sieve. If the sauce seems too wet to you, return to the pot and simmer a little longer to cook off some of the unwanted liquid.

4. You can serve the sauce warm or chilled. If you want to can the sauce, hot pack the sterilized jars, wipe the rims, place the lids on and tighten the bands finger tight then process the jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes before removing them, letting them cool and testing the seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Related post on The Garden of Eating: Apple Crisp – Humble, Homey & Delicious

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Homemade applesauce
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today