It takes slightly longer than a fingersnap instant but, applesauce is just cooked apples, therefore as far as desserts and condiments go, applesauce is pretty darn instant.
I had a huge apple harvest for someone who only kind of knows what they're doing with their apple trees. I picked over 100 apples and after proudly staring at them, hands on hips with wrists cocked at an angle of gloat, I understood my error.
Now I had to do something with them. I don't have enough cold storage to keep them for months and I cannot, could not, eat all of them myself. I tried.
One person + over 100 apples = 3 days later Googling Do apples make you gassy?
Right away I decided to keep the Jonagolds for eating and the McIntosh apples for preserving. Since I had an even split of both, that worked out perfectly.
Which brings us to this post, wherein I teach you how to make applesauce. It's not a recipe - I'm teaching you how to make applesauce without a recipe. It's a method.
Table of Contents
This video will give you an overview before I get into the specifics.
- sweetener (if you'd like)
- spice (if you'd like)
You don't need any measurements if you know why you're doing what you're doing.
Apples turn into applesauce just by cooking and mashing or blending them.
Water is added to applesauce to prevent them from burning on the bottom of the pot. So just add about ¼" of water to the bottom of your pot to prevent burning.
Sweetener is up to taste. Add it last after you've tasted your finished applesauce. This way you'll add the exact right amount for you. Not more, not less.
Core your apples.
Peel if you want. You don't have to (especially if you're blending your sauce).
Chop apples into chunks & put them in a heavy pot.
Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pot by ¼". Why yes, it is smarter to do this before you add the apples.
Add any spices (cinnamon, nutmeg etc.) you want and bring to a simmer.
Simmer until the apples are very soft. If you used whole cinnamon sticks, remove them. Mash or let cool a bit and put through a blender.
Return to pot and TASTE.
If it's sweet enough for you, you're done. Otherwise, add your favourite sweetener to taste. If you're using sugar, reheat the applesauce to make sure the sugar is melted.
Hint: 10 apples into this I was wishing I had one of those hand crank apple peelers. Then the feeling faded because I figured they were stupid and didn't work. Later that night I read the Amazon reviews and apparently it's actually fantastic.
- Ginger (fresh or ground)
Store your applesauce in the fridge for about a week, freeze it or preserve it.
How to Can Applesauce
There is nothing, NOTHING easier to can than applesauce. Especially if you're an experienced canner.
For those of you who are experienced canners you just need to know:
Hot pack applesauce then waterbath: 15 minutes for pints or 20 minutes for quarts.
For everyone else here's the full instructions for how to can applesauce.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. The water should be deep enough to cover the tops of the jar by about 1".
Ladle HOT applesauce into clean canning jars, leaving ½" of headspace. Wipe the rim clean with a damp paper towel or cloth.
HEADSPACE: The room between the top of the contents and the top of the jar.
Add the sealer and ring and finger tighten. Place in boiling water bath.
Process for 15 minute for pint jars or 20 minutes for quart.
FINGER TIGHTEN - This means to tighten the lid using your thumb and ring finger. Anything stronger than could be too tight and prevent a good seal.
PROCESS TIME - Processing time begins once the pot of water is back at a full boil after setting the jars in it.
When the processing time is up, remove the jars onto the counter using this handy $10 tool. Leave the jars undisturbed until the seals pop then store in a dark cupboard.
Often with canning, you need to add something like lemon to increase the acidity of the contents, making them safe to can.
You don't need to add an acid when canning applesauce.
Lemon when canning applesauce
According to the Michigan State Extension office, the National Centre for Home Preservation, and the South Dakota Extension office you don't need to add lemon or any other acid when canning homemade applesauce.
And there you have it. Instant (compared to other desserts or condiments) applesauce.