Homemade applesauce will taste so much better than anything you've ever eaten from a store. My family doesn't mind a little bit of tart so we don't add any sugar at all. If you prefer a sweeter sauce find a sweet variety or you can use a little bit of sugar.
We have found that if you see an apple tree, ask the owner if you can pick their apples. Most time we find they will give them to you rather than have to mow over them or keep picking them off after they fall.
Many times people don't know what kind of apple tree they have. They may have moved in and it was already there. Not every apples makes good sauce. I usually take a box and test them out first. Some have no flavor, some have a weird texture. Once we know we like them we sauce them. If we don't we press them for cider. Still no waste!
If you are ready to make your own applesauce with no additives, no preservatives, no sugar and most likely no chemicals..scroll on down!
How to Make Homemade ApplesauceWash your apples well, especially ones that have hit the ground.
Using a sharp paring knife cut off all of the bad parts of the apples and any worm holes and discard them. I leave on the peel and leave the core (as long as it isn't wormy.) I do take off the blossom end. Those tend to leave little ugly black specs in the sauce. Not harmful, just not pretty. Add the apples and cores to a large pot.
I use a 4 gallon double boiler. It takes a little longer to cook but nothing EVER burns and I can walk off and do other things while it is cooking. A 4 gallon pot does about 7 quarts of sauce. I have a 2 gallon pot I use also.
For each smaller pot add 1/2 to 1 cup of water. For my 4 gallon pot I use 1-1/2 cups of water. Cook until soft. My 4 gallon pot takes approximately 2 hours. It may seem like a long time but you can do other things and not babysit it. Use a potato masher and mash it down after about 45 minutes and every 15 minutes or so after that. (If you are using a regular pot you will need to stir every 5-10 minutes or it will burn on the bottom. Once it does, your batch is most likely ruined.)
When your apples are soft run them through your fruit sieve or KitchenAid fruit strainer (I LOVE this contraption!) Faster and so much less waste!
But some come put a pretty pink! I was told these were Jonathans. They aren't tart at all and are beautiful!
Eat now, freeze, or can in jars.
Refer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation for canning instructions for your altitude.
Fill jars with hot applesauce, leaving ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process. I have found my applesauce tries to come out the top so I have to leave a larger space. From what I read it is because it is full of air from the strainer and the air expands. Clean off tops, add lids and rings. In my little part of the world I waterbath process quarts for 20 minutes.
To thank the lady I picked the Jonathans I am going to give her a jar of applesauce made from her apples.
These quaint little chalkboard labels from KiDECALS are perfect to add to the jar. They can be written on with chalk and erased. I don't know if it would stand up to the high heat of a waterbath process so she can keep it in her cupboard for dried goods like rice or beans..
I look forward to using these labels in my pantry on my flour and sugar containers.
"Kidecals are personalized labels that are dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer safe! Plus they stick to any surface! You can use these stickers on clothing, backpacks, tupperware, devices...you name it. If you don't need any name labels, there are still plenty of options to choose from for both kids and adults! We offer keyboard stickers canning/baking labels, chalkboard labels, and much more!"
I was given a set of labels try out. The thoughts and feelings expressed about the labels are my own.