Making your own homemade applesauce is easy and you control the ingredients (how much sugar, etc).
Canning season + apples = HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE!
Homemade applesauce can be eaten warm, chilled and/or canned. You can add a little cinnamon or just eat it plain. It can be used in other recipes too!
It’s easy to make and, as always, you get to control the ingredients — especially sugar. Now I say that applesauce is easy (and it is) but there are several steps to it. None of them are hard, it just takes time.
The one item that you may not have on hand that you will need is a food mill. I got mine at a local shop in my area that carries canning supplies. If you don’t have anything like that, here is a link to an Amazon page of food mills.
So let’s get started!
Quarter and core your apples, then put them in a big pot –
Fill the pot pretty full because the apples will cook down. Put some water in the pot. I put about 1 1/2 – 2 inches. Don’t put too much in or your sauce will be runny. After your first batch, you’ll know how you need to adjust (my first batch was runny so I reduced the amount of water after that).
Put the apples on a med-hi heat and cook them until they are soft and mushy (yes, mushy is a technical term). Stir frequently so that they don’t burn. Burnt applesauce is the worst!!!
Now arrange your pot of cooked apples beside another large pot with your food mill resting on the top.
Yes, that’s my coffee cup in the upper left corner. Hey, we got an early start!!
Fill your food mill with the cooked apples (a few scoops at a time) and turn it causing the soft apple to be pushed through into the pot underneath.
When you think you have enough sauce to fill jars for a canner then move onto that step. I usually do 2 pots of apples for each 7 jar canner. It’s not a perfect calculation but it’s pretty close.
This is when you would add any sugar that you wished to add. My family likes it a little on the tart side so I don’t add any (figure they can add it at the table if they want to). My mom likes hers sweet so she adds sugar to taste. Because we were combining our efforts, we had to make some without sugar and some with. Here’s to hoping that we marked them correctly!!!
Now fill jars with sauce leaving about 1/2 inch head space. Put a warm lid and ring on and tighten.
When your canner is full, cover and bring to a rolling boil. Process for 25 minutes. After timer goes off, turn off the heat and uncover for a few minutes until the applesauce isn’t bubbling anymore (you’ll be able to hear it).
Note: if you lift the jars while the applesauce is still bubbling, it may bubble out of the jar. That leaves sticky around the top of the jar and may prevent it from sealing properly. It also makes the jars themselves sticky.
Lift your jars and place them on a counter top to cool (I put down a towel so that the towel can be washed easily). When completely cool, store for the winter.
Be sure to check to make sure that all jars have sealed. If they haven’t, you have a couple of options — 1. eat within the next few days (enjoy!!!); or 2. reprocess if you are doing more applesauce.
Don’t you love the look of jars on the shelf?!?!