Monday, September 3, 2012

Homemade Applesauce Tutorial

Fall is such a wonderful time of year, and if you're lucky enough to have a lot of apples, you might want to make some applesauce.

(This is an especially good idea if you have apples that might be a bit too tart to just eat fresh.)

Start with a lot of apples and a very happy baby.  (Happy baby optional).

Peel and core all the apples, or as many apples as you can fit in your large stockpot.  An apple corer like this is invaluable if you have a lot of fruit to get through. 

A cute helper is also invaluable too, but I wouldn't recommend going to the store and grabbing one.  Stick with grabbing an apple corer.  Much safer.
(If you leave the peel on the apple and your apples are very red, you will get "pink applesauce".  Be aware that this will add a few minutes to the cooking time and I wouldn't recommend doing this unless you have organic apples.)

Once you have them in the pot, add about two inches of water.  Add more water if you like your sauce more runny, or less if you like your sauce thicker.  (Just be warned, if you don't add enough water your sauce is more likely to burn.)

Stirring occasionally, cover and cook on high until the apples are nice and soft, about 20 minutes or so.

Add your ingredients.  Generally for 16 cups of applesauce I add 2 cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of salt.  If I were making this purely for my own tastes (and not for those of my picky but boring-palated family) I would also add 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, as well as a pinch of ground cloves. A bit of ground ginger might also be a nice touch. 

(Please note that the amount of sugar will depend on the sweetness of your apples.  Start with 1 cup of sugar and add more to suit your taste.)
Hmm, perhaps I'll make a small batch just for myself . . .

I like to use an immersion blender, but you can also transfer your sauce to a blender or food processor if you want it to be smooth.  Otherwise, your apples should be soft enough that you can blend them fairly well by just using a sturdy spoon.

If you have enough sauce that you want to can it, ladle the hot sauce into clean mason jars, leaving about a 1/2 inch of head space.  Cover with new (and washed, of course) lids and rims and put in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.  You can also use a pressure canner, but I never do it that way as for me the water bath method is easier.

All done!  Let the jars sit on the counter until they cool before storing in your pantry.

(I realize that there are different was to make applesauce and lots of cool gadgets that might make things easier.  This is just how I do it and I thought I'd share my method with anyone who might be interested.  Let me know if you make some and I'll commiserate with you on the state of your kitchen!)


Ellen said...

You forgot to mention the reason why you do not own a pressure canner is that you would explode your house with it and your entire family would be living on the streets! This is why I don't own one as well!

Rachel said...

Yum! That sounds delicious. Now if only I were that industrious...