It is Autumn again, and you know what that means…APPLES! Anytime I get a chance to buy apples by the bushel, I’m in! And a bushel of apples means Mom is making homemade applesauce!
My whole family loves applesauce. We use it on almost anything. Toast, pork chops, chicken, yogurt topping, and of course, as a quick and tasty snack.
When my toddler was a baby, I made pure applesauce – nothing added. Now that his palate has grown, I get to go back to my favorite recipe. YUM!
I use this recipe for both freezing and canning. Either way is great. And once you taste homemade, there is no going back to the store brand.
8 pounds apples
2 cups apple juice
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
Juice from 1 medium lemon
(Ball Fruit-Fresh, nutmeg, allspice are also optional)
Start by choosing your favorite apples. I like them naturally sweet, so I use Pink Lady, Gala, Honey Crisp or McIntosh (my all time favorite, but more expensive and a shorter season). I also like to add in a few Granny Smith apples to even out the sweetness with just a tad of tart. As a general rule, 1 pound of apples will get you 1 pint of applesauce. Rocket Science, right?
Prepare your canning supplies. This is what I use.
Next, grab your cute little helper.
Now comes the fun – peeling, coring and cutting those 8 pounds! I use an Apple Peeler that I received as a gift (thanks Mom!). LOVE THIS THING!! Makes the job SO much easier.
Prepare a bowl with cold water and the juice of 1 medium lemon. I also add in a few shakes of Ball Fruit-Fresh to preserve the color, but this is optional. Peel, core and cut apples. Immediately place in cold water bowl as you go.
Once finished, remove apples from water and place in large pot or dutch oven. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on medium heat for 25-30 minutes. Apples should be cooked, but not completely soft.
Using an immersion blender, blend the entire pot until it reaches your desired consistency. I like my applesauce smooth, so I blend for a few minutes.
And now you have homemade applesauce. Yes, it really is that easy!
Fill your prepared and heated canning jars and return to water bath. Return water to a full boil. Once a full boil is achieved, cover and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set to the side for several hours for canning jars to settle and seal.
Remember, if the lids of your jars retract when you press on the center, the seal has not been made. You may either water bath them again, or just refrigerate and use within 1-2 weeks.
Last, but not least, enjoy that fabulous taste of Autumn!