There are lots (and I mean LOTS) of applesauce tutorials on the web. They may tell to do everything from peel the apples to adding sugar, from blending to mashing. Mine will no doubt be just another apple in the barrel, but humor me, will you?
I love applesauce.
AP and I have had a long relationship. Ever since I was a little girl my mom would make and store homemade applesauce– I loved it about as much as I loved dairy at that age. Of course, after discovering the plight of dairy cows and veal I ditched my cinnamon-sugar yogurt bowls, but applesauce, with it’s wonderful similarity to baby food, has stayed true.
Summer applesauce bowl, with almonds and pomegranate arils.
It is not necessary to can your homemade applesauce (you can just as easily store it in the freezer or gobble it up right away), but canning foods is a very useful skill to have, especially in the case of, you know, the world ending. I mean, come on– in the midst of a crisis or power outage, everyone on the block will come to your house for a canned applesauce party! Tomorrow, we’ll learn how to can it. But for today we’ll just deal with the applesauce part!
How to make homemade applesauce
Breakdown of steps (in conjunction with above collage)
1. Core and chop your apples. Cut off rotten areas, if necessary. No need to peel– we’ll be blending the whole thing so you won’t even know it’s there (yay fiber!)!
2. Dump all your prepared apples into the appropriate sized pot for your project. Put a bit of water on the bottom, and crank the pot to med-high heat. Just add enough water to keep the apples from sticking, as the fruit’s juices will be excreted after they have been simmering for a bit.
3. Cook the apples until soft and mushy*. You now essentially have chunky applesauce– and could stop here if you wish (but pureeing it, as shown in the next step, makes it easier to use in baked goods and recipes).
4. Ladle the chunky applesauce into the blender in batches, and puree.
5. If you are canning, prepare you mason jars. We’ll talk about this tomorrow.
6. Pour your applesauce into you container of choice. If you are canning, you will want to put them in mason jars, and fill it to a certain point for the water bath sealing process to work correctly (slightly higher than shown in the photo).
6. If you fill it too much or little, we can use that old abandoned turkey baster to remedy the problem! (Finally, I understand why I kept it around all these years…. just make sure it’s clean, people, please.)
7. Slap a lid on and store your food! This is where we’ll pick up in tomorrow’s canning tutorial!
* If desired, you could add spices or a sweetener to your applesauce. If I do, it’s in the form of stevia and cinnamon. However, I tend to keep it plain so that I can use my applesauce in baked goods without worrying that extra sweetness or spice will be imparted. Honestly, the taste of the applesauce comes down to how good your apples are (and if you get slightly old or bruised ones, you can cut off the offending parts). What better time to get good apples than in fall?
Do you have a favorite variety of apple?
I can’t believe how many there are– and all have their good points. I tend to like apples that are both sweet and tart with a well rounded flavor. But (and don’t shoot me here) I actually like Red Delicious apples :oops:. However, the best apples I have ever had are in Washington (where I lived before Michigan) called Lady Alice. They were dense, crunchy, and had the most fantastic flavor!