Cooking Basics: How to Make Homemade Applesauce
My entire family adores applesauce. And one of our can not do without dishes at thanksgiving is my homemade applesauce.
Thankfully, it is one of the EASIEST dishes I make.
Are you ready to learn my secrets?
Selecting Apples for Applesauce:
I like to combine a variety of apples for the ultimate flavor in applesauce. The only apple I shy away from using in applesauce is Red Delicious–not my thing. I typically opt for a combination of McIntosh, Granny smith, Gala, and Golden Delicious. During the fall months, I will pick out a few varieties from a nearby apple orchard and use those.
But my true secret for selecting apples for applesauce: Scan the manager’s specials for apples that are almost past their prime. They make the perfect base for applesauce and at my particular grocer, they typically come in a mixed bag special that they are practically giving away. All about saving you money!
Preparing the Apples:
Thoroughly clean 3 pound of apples using my tips on how to naturally wash produce.
Core the apples and chop into large chunks.
You read that correctly, I did NOT mention peeling the apples. It takes too much time and that is where most of the nutrients are!! Plus we are going to blend this later, so the peels will not affect the texture.
- Once you have the apples in the dish, add 1 cup apple juice, apple cider, or pineapple juice and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer for 1-2 hours until apples are soft and broken down into nearly a soft mush (What a description!!) The amount of time that your apples need to simmer is based on the varities you used, but I find it is typically between 1 and 2 hours.
- Blend the apples until completely smooth.
Tips on Blending the Applesauce:
Depending on your blender, you may need to blend in smaller batches. And be sure to allow steam to escape by loosening the top cup on the lid and placing a kitchen towel over the top.
Storing the Applesauce:
Nothing is better than fresh, warm applesauce. But especially during the holiday season, I find myself making this weeks in advance.
So I allow the applesauce to cool and place into 1 quart freezer safe bags/containers/glass jars and store in the freezer.
I thaw out the applesauce and heat gently over low heat before serving.
Fresh, unsweetened applesauce beats store bought jars any day!