This Easy Homemade Applesauce recipe is so simple. I love that it contains only apples, plus a little bit of fresh lemon juice to prevent the apples from browning. You can add cinnamon and other spices if you like, and sugar too. But I like the fresh and slightly tart taste of pure apples. And this way, you can spice your applesauce however you like when using it in recipes. Or you can sweeten it with maple syrup before eating. (Which is really yummy, BTW.)
It's best to use a sweeter variety of apples for applesauce, especially if you aren't adding any sugar. I used a combination of Macintosh and Spartans. Just because I happened to have a bounty of them, thanks to a generous neighbour. Using just one variety of apple is fine, but a combo makes your apple sauce a bit more interesting, I find. Just be sure to use apples at the peak of ripeness, and don't use bruised or soft ones. The taste of your sauce will reflect the freshness of the apples that you use.
Homemade applesauce could not be any easier, and canning it means you have it in the pantry to use in recipes. I also like to give homemade preserves, jams and jellies as holiday gifts, and this applesauce is a great addition to my gift packs. Homemade, edible gifts are always universally welcomed.
Pure, unsweetened applesauce is perfect for babies and little kids, and you'll feel good knowing that what they're eating is apples. No sugar, no preservatives or other additives. Applesauce is handy for baking. And delicious with pork, on pancakes, and stirred into morning oatmeal.
Most of the work in this easy homemade applesauce recipe is in the peeling and coring. If you have an apple peeler / corer, it makes short work of it, and it's a great gadget to have for making pies like this Apple Cranberry Pie or any apple recipe like Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples & Onions. If you don't have one, just enlist some peeling help and the time will fly by.
If you prefer to add cinnamon, put a cinnamon stick in the pot with the apples, then remove it before transferring the sauce into jars. Prep time given is for peeling and coring apples by hand, and if you have an apple peeler / corer, it will be much reduced. For even more apple flavour, substitute the water for apple juice or apple cider. If you prefer not to can your applesauce, it will keep in the fridge for about a week, and can also be frozen.
- 6 pounds fresh apples, peeled, cored, and cut into quarters
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 cup water
- Put apple pieces in a large, deep pot and toss with lemon juice..
- Add water
- Over high heat, bring to a boil, stirring.
- Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 20 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender in the pot to puree the apples.
- Keep sauce at a gentle boil while ladling into hot, sterilized jars.
- Wipe jar rims with a damp paper towel, and put lids and bands on jars.
- Process jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
- Allow jars to cool, making sure they are sealed, and store in the pantry until ready to use.
If you don't have an immersion blender, transfer cooked apples to a blender or food processor in batches. Return pureed apples to the pot and bring back to a gentle boil.
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