One of the images used the most to depict the Fall season is the apple. From giving a bright red apple to the teacher, to apple pie, nothing seems to be more American. With so many varieties to choose from, there is a flavor for everyone. Because of that, everyone has a favorite brand of applesauce. But what if you could make your own and have the exact flavor you like? It only takes one ingredient, apples.
Now I know that the “experts” tell you to pick perfect fruit at the peak of freshness, and I am going to tell you that is hogwash! All the apples I used were gleaned and many had blemishes on the skin. But the fruit underneath was perfectly fine. Add in my daughter helped pick so there were several bruises, I just cut those off. I used small ones and giant ones, Red Delicious and Yellow Delicious too. In other words, use what you got!
Red Hots candy
To make beautiful applesauce I suggest using a crockpot for a small batch, and a countertop roaster for a large batch. Peel and core your apples and then either cut, chop, dice or shred then. To keep them from turning brown as you go, soak in a bowl of cool water with a couple tablespoons of salt. The smaller the apple pieces the faster they will cook. This means your final sauce will have a lighter color. Put all the apple pieces into your cooker and pour a little water on top. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan and ensure that the apples won’t stick to the bottom.
As the apples begin to cook they will release their own juice. Keep stirring the apples and checking to see if they are soft enough to mash. Once they are all tender you have several options to create your sauce. A hand blender or a food mill will make quick work of then apples. You can make your sauce perfectly smooth or leave some tiny chucks.
Now is the time to add any flavoring that you might like. This is all dependent on what you want it to taste like, and you can make several variations. My family prefers nothing added to the apples so I go straight to putting into jars.
Fill your pint or quart canning jars giving yourself 1 inch headspace. Be sure to use a plastic or wooden handle to get rid of any air bubbles. I know it seems like it is just a liquid and there won’t be any bubbles in the jar, but you would be amazed at how many there can be. Wipe the rims, put on the lids and process either size for 20 minutes in a water bath. Or, allow the sauce to completely cool and freeze. Now the fun part is finding something to occupy yourself while the jars are processing, I decided to make a makeup tutorial at 10:30 at night. Now you may not be that ambitious and just want to read a book, it’s all good.
So there you have it, homemade applesauce ready to eat. Did you know it was that simple?