If you’ve never made applesauce before, you might fear it is a complicated venture. I’m here to tell you it is one of the easiest things ever! I posted an approximate recipe a few years ago, but I decided to revamp the post with more specific details for folk who don’t feel confident in the kitchen. You can do it!!
Use any kind of apple that you want. Golden Delicious or other soft, sweet apples will cook down more quickly. Tart apples like Granny Smith will be slower to cook down, but will add a lively bite to your sauce. Different folks like different combinations to find their ideal sauce. Me? I almost unfailingly go for what’s most affordable. Whatever the mix, it always turns out delicious.
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 20-30 apples (or enough cored, peeled apples to fill a 3 to 4 quart pot)
Put water, sugar, and cinnamon into a 3 or 4 quart pot and set the pot over medium heat. Peel, core and quarter apples, adding them to the pot on the stove one by one as you chop them. The whole process will go quicker if you have one of those peeler/slicer/corer gadgets, but it is not necessary.
Stir the pot occasionally. Continue to chop more apples until you’ve used up all your apples or your pot is full. I like to enlist my kids to help with apple-peeling. Even a 5 year old can do a good job (and be safe) with a well-designed peeler.
If your sauce starts to stick to the bottom of the pot at any time during the cooking process, turn the heat down a bit and add another half-cup or so of water. You can do this several times during the cooking process if needed. As the apples cook down, they will break up and soften and make space for even more apples. You’ll be amazed at how many apples it takes to fill a pot.
Depending on how firm your apples are, it will take 45-60 minutes to cook them down into sauce once they’re all in the pot. The final apples into the pot obviously won’t get as much cooking time as the first ones. That’s OK– that will add texture to your sauce.
Once the apples are as soft as you want them to be, there are several possible ways to finish them. If your family prefers a very smooth sauce, you can run part or all of the sauce through the blender. (It makes great baby food when completely pureed.) My family prefers a somewhat chunky sauce, so all I do is lightly mash my sauce with a potato masher, leaving some chunks intact.
At this point you can do one of several things:
— Freeze the sauce in individual containers for up to one year.
–Refrigerate sauce and use within one week.
— Can sauce via boiling water bath. (Canning instructions: While sauce is still boiling hot, pour it into sterilized canning jars. Wipe rims, seal, and process in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes for pints, or 35 minutes for quarts.)
If you’d like to try your hand at canning, but don’t have an official canning pot, no problem. Any heavy pot that allows you to totally submerge your jars in water will work. There should be at least half an inch of water covering the top of every jar. Use pint jars if your pot is not big enough to submerge quarts. Just be sure to start with hot applesauce and use new canning lids and very clean jars. It is a good idea to dip your jars in boiling water before you fill them. A run through a good hot dishwasher will sterilize them as well.
Other canning recipes: