Throughout September and early fall, apple orchards are busy with apple picking visitors, school field trips and backyard apple trees hold a variety of apples ready for use. If you have more apples than you can use fresh—or they are a little less than perfect in appearance, making a recipe of homemade applesauce is a great way to use fresh, local produce and please the family at the same time.
While little kids may not be able to help peel, slice and core apples for the recipe, they will certainly be able to help wash the apples and will be able stir in sweeteners or desired spices to the cooked or pureed apples. Even if the applesauce preparation is not a family affair, many families share a love of eating applesauce! Making your own fresh applesauce from scratch also allows you to control the sweeteners and preservatives as well.
Ingredients for Homemade Applesauce
- 18-25 Small to Medium Apples, peeled, sliced and cored
- ¼ cup water
- Sweetener if desired (1/3 cup sugar or ¼ cup honey)
- Cinnamon to taste (1/2 tsp. to 1 TBSP), Optional
- Large Stock Pot or Kettle
- Large Capacity Blender or Food Processor
- Bowls or storage bags
Instruction for Making Homemade Applesauce
- Prepare the apples for cooking. Wash, peel, core and slice all of the apples and transfer to the cooking pot.
- Add the water to the apples. It does not seem like much water for such a large pot of apples—but, your apples will release some liquid while cooking and with an occasional stir, the apples will not stick or scorch.
- Bring apples and water to a boil and cook thoroughly. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes or until apples are tender. Stir the apples occasionally to avoid sticking or burning in the bottom of the pot.
- Add sweeteners and spice if desired. There is certainly nothing wrong with naturally sweet applesauce, especially added into dishes or warm oatmeal—but, if you desire sugar and spice, add them while the apples are warm. Stir and heat the apple mixture for an additional 2-5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and apples are coated.
- Puree the apple mixture or sauce the apples by hand. Some families prefer chunky, hand sauced applesauce while others prefer it smooth. To puree, simple add apples and liquid by a ladle to a large capacity blender and pulse until it reaches the desired consistency, scraping down the sides as necessary to blend well.
If you have home apple trees, preparing and either freezing or canning homemade applesauce is a fast and simple alternative to expensive all natural commercial brands making it a great fall activity for single income families!
No backyard apples? Check out local resources for fresh fall apples in Columbus.