Making and canning homemade applesauce is easier than you think

by teddletonmr

Harvesting locally grown apples and making applesauce, jelly, cinnamon apples and apple butter is a great way to stock your pantry, save money and satisfy that sweet tooth

Starting in early fall here in the Midwest United States, apple trees are hanging full of all our family favorite tree ripened apples ready for the picking. Eating fresh picked from the tree, used for cooking our favorite pies and cobblers, and or putting up for a rainy day. Life couldn’t get any better for folks that enjoy eating apples.
Our choices start with the delicious Jonathans, galas, red and yellow delicious, and many more varieties including everyone’s favorite, the pleasingly tart granny smith apples that make the best tasting apple pie you will ever taste.
Making and canning homemade applesauce is an easy way to put away a few fresh apples for a rainy day, cold winter’s night, or to satisfy a craving. Follow along as I share with you the easiest way to make and put up, homemade applesauce your family will absolutely love the taste of.

The best apples for making applesauce

Mixing two, three, or more types of apples develops a richer, taster flavor profile

Many folk’s favorite apple varieties are delightfully crisp, juicy, and either deliciously tart, sinfully sweet or a perfect combination of both sweet with just a hint of tartness balancing the flavor profile.These tasty fruits picked each day while in season fresh from the tree in our local orchards is just what the doctor ordered for eating the same day as a tasty snack, or taking home for cooking straight away - tasty treats like cinnamon apples, baking a delicious applesauce cake, or the kid’s favorite cupcakes everyone enjoys.

#2 apples picked at local orchard
#2 apples picked at local orchard
picture by teddletonmr

Let us not forget about fresh baked apple nut breads, cookies, and muffins, or the secret ingredient used by many great cooks and bakers, homemade applesauce.

Best of all for those of us so inclined, preserving for later. Grown locally, apples from family owned and operated orchards are not trucked in from god knows where spending god knows how much time in some refrigerated truck or train car using up barrels of fossil fuels on their journey.

Local apple orchard
Local apple orchard
picture by teddletonmr

#1 and # 2-grade apples

Buying and using #2-grade apples for canning and cooking saves money

Local orchards are the best places to get a great deal on #1 & 2-grade apples. The top quality #1-grade apples are the best-looking, blemish free apples of the harvest. Used in holiday fruit baskets, centerpieces, and supermarket produce stands, where the #1 apple is sure to fetch the premium by the pound retail price. Such high retail prices may be ok for someone that only needs a pound or two of their favorite apples for lunch, healthy snack or table centerpiece.

Apple Hill orchard
Apple Hill orchard
picture by teddletonmr

On the other hand, for those of us a bit on the frugal side, and enjoy canning our own fresh foods there is a better-priced option at our local apple orchards that the local supermarket will not have in the produce department, #2-grade apples, aka seconds.  

Thankfully for us frugal-minded folks, local orchards that do not use all their seconds for making cider and the like, have the #2 apples for those of us that know to ask, at discounted prices. Less than perfect in appearance, #2-grade apples or sometimes referred to as seconds, taste just as good as #1s. However, seconds will have a few blemishes, bruises, are a bit misshapen and in certified organic apples, we should expect the occasional hole left by other apple loving creepy crawler type critters.

 

#2 Johnagold apples are great canning apples
#2 Johnagold apples are great canning...
photo by teddletonmr

From the dollars and cents point of view, we should expect to pay as much as half the price of the #1-grade apples cost in supermarket produce stands. Making #2-grade Jonathans, red and yellow delicious, Fuji and other hybrid varieties a great price for the perfect canning and preserving apples that will help maximize the family food budget.

Subsequently, we, our family, and friends will enjoy the benefits cooking and baking our favorite wholesome, great tasting, nutritious homemade foods contribute to our dietary needs. After all, who doesn’t like a warm fresh baked apple pie just out of the oven, the sweet taste, with just a hint of cinnamon, flavored applesauce, creamy apple butter, jam, and jelly on a biscuit or PBJ? I believe we will all agree one or more of these tasty culinary delights are time-honored family favorites everyone enjoys eating, receiving, and giving as holiday gifts.

Abby and Molly’s favorite applesauce recipe

Making and canning homemade applesauce with the kids is fun and rewarding

As caring moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, and yes-even the occasional crazy uncle, we absolutely do understand how important it is for our kids to know and appreciate the nutritional differences in highly processed foods found on supermarket shelves. Then tweaking homemade recipes to satisfy the pickiest eater and make a batch of homemade applesauce using their choice of the freshest locally grown apples combined with sweeteners, cinnamon, and other spices.


 

Abby & Molly
Abby & Molly
photo by teddletonmr

Abby 10, and her baby sister Molly 6, generally are at odds with one another, Abby feels the need to share her knowledge and experience with her younger sister. Where rather predictably little Molly, the youngest of our four kids, isn’t keen on the idea of all her older sibs constantly treating her like a baby, not knowing anything. There are those that refer to this interaction between siblings as drama, for the wife and me it is just another day in paradise.

Oddly enough, when it comes to helping with kitchen tasks, Abby and Molly set aside their differences and actually work rather well together. Tweaking our homemade applesauce recipe by adding a little less sugar, a bit more ground cinnamon, and using equal amounts of Johnagolds, Fuji, and Gallia apples all the while tasting the impact of each measured change all part of the fun.

Homemade applesauce recipe

Homemade applesauce recipe

Tweaking a family favorite homemade applesauce recipe is fun and rewarding

Prep time 60 min  -  Total time 120 min
Ingredients for 40 servings
2-peck / half a bushel of apples approximately 20lbs of apples makes about 10-quarts apple puree  • Three to four cups of pure cane sugar  • One-quarter cup ground cinnamon  • Optional ingredients:  • Ginger  • Cloves  • Nutmeg,

Step 1 wash apples

Step 1 wash apples

Get started by washing your apples in cold water, checking for and removing bruises, wormholes and stems.


Step 2 cutting and coring apples

Step 2 cutting and coring apples

It is much easier to use an apple slicer corer like the one pictured. Than using a paring knife to cut apples into wedges and removing the seeds, core, stem and blossom ends.


Step 3 cooking apples

Step 3 cooking apples

Put apple wedges into a large stockpot with 1-gallon water, apples will float; we use a 16-1qt stainless pot with glass lid. The glass lid makes it easier to see what is going on inside the pot; the girls like to watch the apples cook. On the other hand, the covered pot speeds up cooking.


Step 4 pureeing apples

Step 4 pureeing apples

Cook until apples are fork tender, and then remove from heat and puree apples while still hot. We use a Sauce Master, a Victoria food strainer is another option, or if you already like and use a Foley food mill it will work just plan on spending more time.

Recipe  0.0/5 Stars (0 Votes)

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Cooking apples for applesauce

Simmer apples until all the pieces are fork tender, this will make pureeing apples really easy, 16-qts in 30-min or less
Cooking apples untill fork tender
Cooking apples untill fork tender
photo by teddletonmr

Separating apple peals

Using a sauce master or Victoria food strainer separates peals and makes apple puree in one easy step
Making homemade apple sauce
Making homemade apple sauce
photo by teddletonmr

Removing apple peals from puree

Peals, seeds, and bits of the apple core strained from the good part of the apple.
Removing apple peals from puree
Removing apple peals from puree
photo by teddletonmr

Apple puree ready for making applesauce

Add pure cane sugar, or substitute, cinnamon and optional spices to taste if you like
Apple puree ready for making applesauc
Apple puree ready for making applesauc
photo by teddletonmr

Simmer on low heat

Bring to a low simmer for 15 – 20 minutes to meld flavors before canning
Simmer applesauce
Simmer applesauce
photo by teddletonmr

Canning applesauce.

Can applesauce using hot water bath method for 25-minutes.
Canning applesauce.
Canning applesauce.
photo by teddletonmr
Updated: 11/01/2013, teddletonmr
 
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teddletonmr on 03/18/2014

@EmmaSRose The kids very much enjoy making their own homemade applesauce.

Guest on 03/18/2014

teddletonmr, Very nice presentation. Making homemade applesauce is so much fun. It sounds as though homemade applesauce is a family affair at your house = such great times to be had and remembered therein.

teddletonmr on 11/02/2013

Dustytoes, hey Pam it sure is good to hear from you. The wife and I like to take every opportunity to teach the kids about the foods they like to eat; making homemade applesauce makes learning fun and rewarding.

MikeRobbers thanks for stopping by, the great thing about homemade applesauce. Tweaking the recipe a bit, applesauce can be a bit on the sweet side, tart, or savory it’s all up to the cook.

Ologsinquito, the kids love to eat and share their homemade applesauce with their friends. So much so, we use 3-bushels of apples for making applesauce, the water used for cooking the apples is used to make apple cinnamon jelly, and unsweetened apple juice used in homemade BBQ sauce.
Thanks everyone, teddletonmr

dustytoes on 11/02/2013

My favorite apples are the Macintosh, and around here (New Hampshire) we can pick up the "drops" for much less money than picking our own at the local orchards. Those would be used for cooking or making applesauce. I don't have the ambition though! Your applesauce looks great.

MikeRobbers on 11/01/2013

Great, most interesting post and recipe :)

ologsinquito on 11/01/2013

You must enjoy that applesauce all winter. Yum!

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