This simple applesauce recipe is so much tastier than the bottled stuff at the store, and you don't need any special equipment in order to safely preserve it.
- 3 pounds/1.36 kg apples
- 1/2 cup/118 ml apple juice (or water)
- 2 tablespoons/35 ml lemon juice (fresh)
- Optional: 1 stick cinnamon
- Optional: 2 tablespoons/35 ml honey (or 1 1/2 tablespoons/21 g sugar)
- Optional: 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
- Wash and core the apples. Cut into slices or chunks no thicker than 1-inch thick. If you have a food processor or a food mill to use after the apples cook, you don't need to bother peeling them. If you will be mashing the applesauce by hand (with a potato masher), then it is worth taking the time to peel the apples.
- Put the prepped apple pieces into a large, non-reactive pot (no aluminum or non-enameled cast iron) and mix them with the sugar and spices, if using.
- If you are using honey rather than sugar, instead of mixing it with the apples dissolve it in the water separately.
- Combine the water and lemon juice. Mix in honey, if using. Pour the liquid mixture over the apples.
- Cook the applesauce over medium heat for approximately 25 minutes, stirring often until they are mushy.
- Remove the cinnamon stick, if using. At this point, you can either mash the applesauce with a potato masher (or the bottom of a wine bottle), run it through a food mill, or puree it in a food processor.
Applesauce is easy to preserve for future use. It freezes well, and it also cans beautifully.
To can applesauce:
- Fill clean pint or half-pint jars (it is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe) leaving 1/2-inch of head space between the top of the food and the rims of the jars. Use a butter knife or a small spoon to release any air bubbles.
- Wipe off the rims of the jars with a moistened paper or clean cloth towel (any food stuck to the rims could prevent a good seal). Fasten canning lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Adjust for your altitude if necessary.