I have made applesauce every year for the last 6 years. I can’t believe I have never blogged about how to do it. After living in the Pacific Northwest (Portland area) for 5 years I became spoiled by all the produce plunder. One particular house we lived in had two large apple trees and I became accustomed to pillaging the trees every fall to make apple butter, sauce, and filling along with several pies, cobblers and muffins. So when I moved to Indiana I was super bummed to have to now pay for apples. Boo! But since apples have a near and dear place in my heart and I was spoiled by homemade applesauce for years I still take time to can every year.
Now I will tell you about the secret gadget for making quick and easy homemade applesauce. The Fruit & Vegetable Strainer Kitchen Aid Attachment. At $59 retail it is not a cheap toy but I got it from Kohl’s a few years back and I think I got it right around $35 after rebates, a great sale and some Kohl’s cash back.
One bushel of apples (I use a variety)
Quart sized canning jars
canning rings and lids
Note: I do this process three times for one bushel so I would separate your bushel of apples into three parts before you begin.
1. Wash your apples really well and then cut them into quarters. There is no need to peel them or cut out the seeds. Place them in a large pot with hot water and let them boil until soft (about 30 minutes).
2. Then all you have to do is attach the fruit strainer attachment to your Kitchen Aid and add the strained apples to it. This thing is awesome…is separates the skin and seeds from the applesauce.
3. I scoop the warm apples into the top and my little helpers use the push stick to push them through the grinder.
You are left with sauce in one bowl and the peels and seeds in another.
4. Pour all of your sauce in a large stockpot. Add 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice and 1-2 cups of sugar depending on your preference. Here is where you can add cinnamon to it if you wish as well. YUM!
5. After you get the sauce to your liking boil it. I also heat the oven up to about 200 degrees and set the clean quart jars in there to sterilize them. Stir constantly until boiling. Remove from heat and ladle the sauce into the hot jars.
6. Add the cap and ring onto the top of the jar leaving about 1/4” headspace. Turn the hot jars upside down to seal.
Now many a canner will tell you to water bath them at this point. But in my opinion, if a jar seals it is sealed. Since I sterilize my jars and boil my applesauce I feel this way is good enough. I have done it this way for at least 4 years and I have only had one bad jar. However, I have also water bathed them and lost two jars from cracking during the bath. But you are more than welcome to water bath them if you wish and according to the experts – Ball Blue Book you should.
7. Let them cool completely and then turn them right side up. Make sure all the jars have sealed by making sure there is no give in the lid. If one didn’t seal then pop it in the refrigerator and let that be your first jar of sauce that you eat.
Homemade applesauce is like dessert for me. I warn you not to give it is gifts because people will give you the empty jar back begging for a refill!
For more canning posts: