Ohio Living

Make your own Applesauce!


Make your own Applesauce!

applesauceToday was applesauce day at our house!  It’s something we do every year, and I always look forward to a big bowl of warm applesauce made with freshly-picked apples.  Then I fill the freezer with the rest, and we have it for the rest of the year.  It’s an easy little something special to go with a meal that the whole family loves.

Depending on how much you pay for apples, homemade may not be a ton cheaper than buying jarred applesauce at the store, but it’s so yummy and it’s become a family tradition.  The good news is that, for applesauce, you can save by buying bags of “seconds,” (less-than-perfect apples), and cutting out any blemishes or bruises.  Just make sure you use seconds soon after buying them, as the bruises can get worse or even rot if you leave them for too long.  I also love that you can control what you put in it: no high-fructose corn syrup, and you can add as much or as little sweetener and cinnamon as your family likes!

Here’s how I make my own applesauce—hope you enjoy it (I know I did!) 🙂

Wash apples well and cut into chunks, removing cores and any brown spots.  An apple slicer helps this job go quickly!

Put apple chunks in a large pot with a little water (about 1/2- 1 cup) and cook on medium heat, stirring every few minutes to make sure uncooked apples on the top get down toward the bottom.

When all the apples are cooked (they’ll reduce down and be mushy), set the pot aside to cool slightly.

Dump cooked apples into a food mill (like this one), and enlist a super cute helper or two to turn the crank.  The food mill pushes the apple flesh through little holes in the bottom into a bowl underneath, but keeps the peels up top.  I like using a food mill because it makes really smooth applesauce, and you can leave the peels on when you cook the apples.  If you like chunky applesauce, you can peel the apples first, then just mash them by hand with a potato masher.

When just the peels are left in the food mill, you’re done cranking.  (You can throw the peels away or add them to your compost pile)

Add sugar and cinnamon to taste (I like mine sweet and cinnamony, but you could go without sugar or use any other sweetener you choose!).

I store my applesauce in quart-sized freezer bags–fill & label them, freeze them flat on a cookie sheet, then they’re easy to store, ready to warm up for a delicious side dish.  I’ll also pack some in small containers for the kids’ lunches this week.

If you’re curious how much you’ll get out of a bag of apples, check out this information from Pepin Heights apples:

1 peck equals:

  • 10-12 pounds
  • 32 medium apples
  • 3-4~ 9 inch pies
  • 7-9 quarts frozen
  • 4 quarts canned

1 bushel equals:

  • 42-48 pounds
  • 126 medium apples
  • 15~ 9 inch pies
  • 30-36 pints frozen
  • 16-20 quarts canned

About two pecks filled the big green 32-cup bowl pictured above (plus two servings for each of my kids along with big helping for my husband and myself for snacktime!).

Don’t miss our other Fall Apple Recipes:

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