Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Applesauce

This week I’m making applesauce…a LOT of applesauce…AGAIN. This batch, and probably most of the batches I make in the next three or four weeks are NOT going to get canned.  Oh, I’ve canned some too but right now, applesauce is my secret snacking weapon! I’m always looking for healthy snacks to appease the ravening hordes hungry guys in my house who go searching the pantry and the fridge in between meals.

Right now the apples in the grocery stores are plentiful and priced right. Farm markets and fruit stands often sell large bags of apples for very reasonably prices. I buy several 5# bags of apples (Romes are my favorite for applesauce because they’re the cheapest, but any flavorful apple will do) each week and keep our fridge stocked with fresh, homemade sauce. Homemade applesauce is an easy, healthy, inexpensive snack.

Basket of apples

Homemade Applesauce

  • Wash apples.
  • Quarter them and cut out the bad bits. Don’t worry about the cores or the skins yet.
  • Boil a whole bunch in a deep stock pot with an inch or two of  water until mushy. Don’t turn the burner on high because it’s possible to burn the apples.
  • To make the apple milling process easier, I usually give the cooked apples a brief whir through my food processor or I use my submersion blender to coarsely break the apples up. The cores and skins are still on the apples, so you’re not really trying to make this smooth. It just helps speed up the milling step.
  • Put the mush through the apple mill.
apple mill
  • Add sugar as needed to the sauce
If you don’t have an apple mill, you can peel and core the apples before cooking them. After they’re cooked, you can process them the rest of the way in the blender, the food processor, or with the handheld immersion blender.
I store my homemade applesauce in a big 6-quart tub in the fridge. My guys always gobble it up within about a week, so I don’t worry about preservation beyond refrigeration for the week. In our house, this tub of applesauce is one of those snacks you can eat any time without checking with mom first.
Bowl of homemade applesauce
If you’re going to store the applesauce for longer than about a week, you should probably can it in quart jars. If you want to can your applesauce sauce:
  • Put the sauce back into a large stock pot and bring back up to boil
  • Sterilize lids and rings
  • Wash quart jars (the jars ended up getting sterilized also, but every cookbook I can find says that running them through the dishwasher is enough.)
  • Put sauce in jars
  • Water bath the jars for 23 minutes
Canned applesauce
I usually use Rome apples because right now I get the best price on those and often they turn the sauce a lovely pink. If you have access to other varieties, different apples will give you some delicious variations in flavor. Experiment with different types of apples to find your favorite flavor combination.
Now if all this sauce-making is making you hungry for something a little more decadent than applesauce, head over to Stick Boy Bread and sample their Spicy Apple Almond sweet bread. Mmmmmmm. The kids can eat the applesauce!
Barb  

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