How to Make Homemade Applesauce

By on October 5, 2013
how to make applesauce homemade

In this post I would like to share how to make homemade applesauce and then can it and store it for later use.

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The nights turn cooler, the leaves are vibrant colors, and we watch football every weekend.

One of the other things I look forward to this time of year is our annual apple picking trip with the in-laws.

After a disappointing outing last year due to frosts early in the spring, this year proved to be quite fruitful. We were able to pick all of our favorite kinds of apples and plenty of them.

It didn’t take long after we got home for me to start making homemade applesauce. There’s two ways we do it in my house: one, the easy way and two, the easier way.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure which one is which. If Scott makes it his way then that’s the easier way. If I make it my way then that’s the easier way.

Anyway, here’s how I do it and why I think it’s easier.

The Easier Homemade Applesauce

My way actually gives the look and feel of a more homemade applesauce. While still smooth, it has a little texture and non-uniformity to it that makes you feel like you made it at home.

1. Peel and chop apples.

I generally just stand at the cutting board and do this with a peeler and a knife. I don’t find it all that big of a deal to peel a few apples this way and I don’t feel like it takes a ton of time. However, you could go all high-tech and use an apple peeler-corer-slicer like this one and get it all done in one shot. A few of my friends have these and swear by them.

I chop the apples but not all that small. They cook down so it doesn’t matter how big the pieces are. Then I add the chopped apples into my saucepan.

2. Add an inch or two of water to the pan and cover.

Place this on the stove over medium high heat and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Apples will cook down. This might take about 10-15 minutes depending on how many apples you are cooking.

3. Mash with a potato masher.

Once the apples are cooked and mushy, turn off the heat and simply mash it right in the pan with the potato masher. Easy!

If you had an immersion blender this might work too, but may sacrifice some of the lumpiness that’s nice with this recipe. Either way is fine.

4. Eat as is or add cinnamon to taste.

I really don’t feel that this applesauce needs any sugar added to it. It’s already super sweet and, in my opinion, if you’re going to add sugar to something like applesauce you may as well just eat a Snicker’s Bar.

I sprinkle some cinnamon in and keep taste testing it until I get it how I like it.

5. Refrigerate, eat, or prepare for canning.

This should last in the refrigerator for about 1 week. More on canning the applesauce below.

The More Laborious Way

Scott thinks this method of making homemade applesauce is easier and still tastes great. While I agree that it tastes wonderful, I do not think it’s easier. You’ll find out why below.

1. With a knife cut apples in half, still with peel and stems, and add to a saucepan.

No need to take the time to peel and chop.

2. Add an inch or two of water to the pan and cover.

Place this on the stove over medium high heat and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Apples will cook down. This might take about 10-15 minutes depending on how many apples you are cooking.

3. Process the cooked apples.

This is where I think it gets crazy. Get out your Kitchen Aid mixer and proper applesauce attachment and, using a ladle, slowly pour some of the cooked apples into the little tiny hole. The apples will go through the attachment and come out in a little skinny ribbon of applesauce.

Now, the attachment thing is great because it takes all the stems and peels out of the concoction and just sends out pure and smooth applesauce. And over the course of the next hour you may be able to ladle all of your apples into the Kitchen Aid and finish before sunrise.

Oh wait, then you have to clean up your mess. Since the place you add your cooked apples to on the attachment is small and can only accept a little at a time, there will be mis-fires all over the counter. Also, you will have to take apart and clean the attachment. This isn’t a big deal if the person making the applesauce actually cleaned up adequately after himself, but that’s a post for another time.

All in all, it just adds a bunch of extra time to use the Kitchen Aid and then take the time to clean it. My way of using a potato masher saves a ton of time not only in the processing but also in the clean up.

4. Add desired flavorings, eat, refrigerate, or prepare for canning.

Canning Your Homemade Applesauce

So, if you know me at all or have read my food preservation and storage ebook, you know that I think preserving your food for later use is a pretty big deal. I talk about why I think that in the book so I won’t rehash that here, but I will share with you briefly the steps I take to can my homemade applesauce.

1. Prepare water bath canner and mason jars.

A water bath canner is simply a big pot with a rack that can fit a bunch of jars. This is the one I bought - totally affordable. This one comes with the accessories you might want as well, like the jar tongs to lift cans out of the boiling water.

Fill up the bath about half way with water and heat on stove at a simmer.

Mason jars can be found online here on the cheap and at any of your local box stores. I like to buy new sets of mason jars and lids every time. While the jars could be reused, the lids and rings cannot. If you do you’d just be looking to get yourself a nice case of botulism.

The jars and lids need to be sterilized before canning. You can do this by running all of them through your dishwasher or by sterilizing them on the stove. To do it this way, simply boil the jars for about 10 minutes. The lids and rings should not be boiled, rather heated in very hot water for 10-20 minutes.

Note: Once these are sterilized you should not touch them with your hands. You may handle the bottom of the glass jars, but lids and rings should be put on using a set of tongs.

2. Ladle hot applesauce into the jars right up to about 1/2 an inch from the top.

Wipe any excess that fell on the rim of the jar using a clean towel. Add the lids and rings.

3. Add to water bath.

When all the jars you will be canning are placed into the water  the water level should be at least 1 inch above the jars so they are fully submerged.

Bring water to a rolling boil and process for 20 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

5. Remove jars from canner and place them on a wire rack placed over a towel on the kitchen counter. Let them sit this way undisturbed to cool for 12-24 hours.

6. Check seals.

Make sure none of them “pop” up and down. Those that do did not process correctly and will need to be eaten within the next week. If the lids stay put they are good for storage.

Label your jars with its contents and preservation date. Store canned applesauce in the pantry for up to 1 year.

I hope you enjoyed my take on how to make homemade applesauce and consider making and preserving some for your family to enjoy year round.

For a step by step guide to canning and other food preservation methods, check out my Kindle ebook, Food Preservation & Storage at Home – A Step by Step Guide to Canning, Pickling, Dehydrating, Freezing & Safely Storing For for Later Use, in the Amazon store.

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