Back in the fall I purchased a couple cases of Pink Lady apples at our local organic farmer store, Garden Treasures Nursery & Organic Farm in Arlington. I like to have organic apples on hand throughout the winter for a healthy, vitamin packed snack in the afternoon. The apples have been sitting in our garage for 4-months and the ones left of the two cases, are loosing their crispiness. I don’t care much for soft, mealy apples as a snack, so, before they start to go completely bad, let’s make something yummy out of it.
Two options come to my mind: German apple pie or applesauce. I decided to go with applesauce, but I’m sure there will be some apples left to make a pie … watch out for another post 😊.
Here is what you need to make some delicious homemade applesauce:
- 4 lb. apples
- I’m using Pink Lady, but any sweet apple will work
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Prep time: 20 min.
- Cooking time: 45 min.
- Filling jars: 5 min.
- Servings: 128 oz
- I used one (1) 64 oz and two (2) 32 oz jars, but feel free to adjust to your needs
Let’s get started 👩🏼🍳!
First and very important step if you want to ensure a long shelve life for your apple sauce: sterilize your jars! It’s super easy: bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the jars and lids to the water and let it all cook on high temperature for approx. 15 min. Make sure the water covers the jars and lids to ensure each piece is sterilized properly.
After 15 min. you can take them out of the water and put them on a fresh kitchen towel until your applesauce is ready to be filled up. Note: ensure using a clean kitchen tongs to take each item out of the water. You don’t want to touch anything with your hands to avoid cross-contaminate, even though your hands might be clean, better be safe than sorry 😉.
Now off to preparing the apples. I like to use a fruit and veggie peeler to get the skin off. It makes it so much easier then peeling each apple with a paring knife.
Nothing goes bad in our household: this pile of apple skin will make a special treat for our chickens, I know they will go crazy over it. Happy chickens means yummy eggs 🍳!
The next step is coring the apples. You can use a paring knife to get the job done or to make your life simpler, use an Apple Slicer-Cutter-Divider-Corer-Wedger👌🏼! You will be done with this tedious job in no time and get the perfect, unified apple pieces.
Once you cored and wedged each apple, it’s time to cut them into smaller pieces. We’re doing this because #1 – the applesauce will cook faster and #2 – you will have less pureeing to do at the end. Make sure each piece is cut to the same size so the apples cook evenly.
Here is an overview of the different steps:
Now it’s time to get these beautiful apple pieces cooked into a delicious applesauce.
Using a large pot, dump the apples in, add water and turn head to medium to let it simmer for approximately 30 min. You don’t need to stir at this point, let the heat due to job for you.
After cooking the apples for 30 min., they will be getting softer. Now it’s time to add sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Stir all three ingredients well into the pot.
Let everything simmer for another 15 min. and stir every 5 min. to ensure flavors are being evenly distributed. Test the apples after 15 min., if they are soft, then it’s on to the next step – mashing! Use a potato masher to mash the apples into a beautiful sauce. You can mash as little or as much as you like, it all depends on how you like your applesauce. I like mine a little chunky, but this is up to you. If you like yours more like a smooth puree, I suggest you use a blender instead of the potato masher, as you will get a better result.
Oh my … look at this beautiful applesauce 😍🍎!
Ensure you fill the applesauce into jars right away while the applesauce and jars are still hot! This will allow the jars to build vacuum and your applesauce will have a long shelve life. When you fill the jars, make sure you fill them almost all the way, leaving only 1/8 inch headroom. A larger amount of retained oxygen in the headroom may allow some mold growth if airborne molds contaminated the surface of the product as the jar was filled and closed. Clean any applesauce that got spilled on the rim, then screw the lids on right away to create vacuum. A vacuum can form if the jars are hot and the contents are at least 165 F.
And here is the final product! Doesn’t this applesauce look delish!? Not sure if it will last for long in our house ☺️.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I got you inspired to create your own applesauce. It will be a sweet treat for your family with no preservatives added. As you can see, it’s super easy, fast and who doesn’t want to eat clean and healthy with knowing what is actually in your food 🙌🏼. So long until next time, and happy cooking 👩🏼🍳!