Making homemade applesauce is so incredibly easy and so wonderfully delicious! I generally prefer homemade [insert food item here] to store bought and applesauce is no exception. It’s one of those things where the store bought version doesn’t even come close. (Or, at least, no store bought applesauce I’ve ever purchased…) Any apples will work, but I generally try to get them from the local farmer’s market where I ask if they’ve got any “seconds” available. These are just apples that aren’t “perfect” so they set them aside as seconds and sell them for cheap. (Really cheap! I often get a whole bag full for just a few dollars.) The imperfections are generally minor and mostly cosmetic but I do try to use them up within a day or two, just to be on the safe side.
- apples (The more the merrier! Keep in mind they cook down quite a bit.)
- sugar (optional)
- cinnamon (optional)
Core and coarsely chop your apples. I use one of those snazzy corer-chopper things where you just press it down over the apple and end up with half a dozen little wedges and a little round core. It’s fabulous. I love it. It’s one of those things that I should have bought ten years ago but I thought it was silly and unnecessary. (Little did I know!) It makes such quick work of preparing apples for applesauce, I don’t mind doing it several weekends in a row.
Now…to peel or not to peel, that is the question! I don’t peel my apples because I have a food mill. Running the cooked apples through the food mill avoids the need to peel them beforehand. If you don’t have a food mill and don’t want peels in your applesauce, it’s best to peel them in advance. Once peeled (or not) dump all the apples in a big pot with just enough water to cover the bottom and keep them from sticking. Turn on the heat and cook over medium high-ish, stirring occasionally, until they are soft. At this point, you have a few options. I put mine through my aforementioned food mill, which gets rid of the peels and makes a nice, fairly uniform sauce. You can also just coarsely mash the apples if you want a chunkier sauce.
Once everything is feeling saucy, I add a bit of sugar. Sometimes. If I’m feeling sweet. Add sugar to taste – the amount will vary widely depending on the type of apple you used and how sweet you like your sauce. I also love to add some cinnamon, because homemade applesauce with cinnamon tastes like apple pie in a jar to me. Yum! Once the sugar and cinnamon (if desired) are stirred in, you’re done! That’s it! Applesauce! You can eat it warm, chill it, or even can it. If you’re interesting in canning, check out my little guide here. (It’s over there in the sidebar too…no over there…to the left…up…up…there you go!)
All this talk about applesauce has me wondering if we’ve still got any in the cabinet… I made it every weekend for a while a few weeks back and canned it. Sadly, it doesn’t last long around here!