Simple Sweet Apple Sauce
This simple sweet apple sauce looks beautiful and is delicious! This apple sauce is easy to make and preserves well over the winter. It makes a great snack to pack in lunches, is yummy served with porkchops or pancakes, and is nice to have on hand to when someone is under the weather.
This recipe was taught to me by my neighbor, Louise. I have a lot to learn from Louise, she keeps a beautiful garden, is a great cook, and preserves food each year. I really appreciate having friends and neighbors who are willing to share their knowledge with me and teach me their tried and true skills and recipes.
When Louise invited me down to make apple sauce this year, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share with what I have learned from her. I really love the color and flavor of this summer apple sauce, and I know you will really enjoy it too!
Melba or other soft apples
*The amount of each ingredient you need will depend on how many apples you have. I will explain how to know the amounts below, under Season & Sweeten.
For this apple sauce we picked Melba Apples, which are an early, end of summer, variety of apple that is a softer apple. These early apples work great for apple sauce, but any type of apple will work too!
The apples that work best are softer such as Macintosh and have some red skin. The reason that red apples are preferred is because the red peel give the applesauce a beautiful pink color.
When picking apples, we first pick the ones that have dropped on the ground, then shake the tree to have more fall if we need. We pick them off the ground because it is easier, and the apples are a bit softer.
You want to pick apples that are still firm, but you don’t have to be too selective. We use apples that are bruised and have worm holes. Since they are becoming apple sauce, you can just cut out the bad bits and use the good ones.
Pick as many apples as you want or have access to. We picked about three 2-gallon pails full, which made 17 pints of apple sauce.
Wash and Cut
After you have your apples picked, give them a little wash. Then cut off the bottom blossom end, cut them in half, and cut out and bad parts. If there are any worm holes, cut along the hole and then remove the bad part.
For this apple sauce you do not have to peel or core the apples because you will strain it later, which makes the process pretty quick.
Add Water & Boil
Once you have the apples washed and cut, put them in a pot and fill it ½ full of water. If you have really moist apples add slightly less water, or if you have dry apples add a little more. The amount of rain during the season can impact the amount of water in your apples, so consider this when adding water to the pot.
We had pretty average apples, so we filled the pot half full of water and put it on the stove to boil. Bring the pot to a boil and let it boil for 5 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Poke the apples with a fork to check if they are soft and mushy.
Once the apples have boiled, it is time to stain them. For this you can use any type of sieve, as long as it will separate the seeds and skin from the sauce.
For staining Louise uses a great machine that separates the sauce for you. It is a Presto Food Strainer and Sauce Maker. She has used if for many years to make apple sauce and tomato sauce. For this strainer you put the cooked apples in the top, push them down thought the machine, the sauce will fall through the sieve and the core and skins will come out the other end. Check out the video above if you want to see it in action. Although Presto does not sell this product anymore, I have found similar units on amazon, which I am definitely putting on my Christmas list this year.
You can use a small screen strainer to separate the sauce from the core and skins too. Just make sure you use a metal strainer, as a plastic one may melt from the hot sauce, and that the screen in small enough for the seeds and hard apple parts to stay out.
Season & Sweeten
Now that your sauce is all strained, it is time to add the sugar and spice. This part depends on how sweet you like your apple sauce. For Louise and I we like our sauce sweet, therefore we add quite a bit of sugar.
We added 1 cup of sugar for every 8 cups of apples sauce, so 1/8cup sugar to 1 cup sauce. When adding sugar to your apple sauce I recommend starting with adding a small amount of sugar, tasting, and then adding more if need be.
It is best to add the sugar while your apple sauce is still warm, so that the sugar will dissolve and give your sauce a nice texture. Also, add a bit of nutmeg. We added 1 tsp of nutmeg to an 8-cup bowl of apple sauce. So just add a little and see how it taste.
Jar & Store
Now your apple sauce is done! If you want to eat it right away, just cover your bowl and store it in the fridge. If you want to keep it for the year, put the sauce into any containers you have on hand and put it in the freezer.
If you are freezing your sauce, make sure to leave about ½ inch of head space at the top of your container so that when it freezes and expands it will not explode from the container. We used some old plastic food containers, and some Mason jars. I prefer to use glass jars, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
This recipe is simple and so good. My favorite way to eat it is on top of pancakes, but it is also great as a mid-day snack. I love how pretty it looks in jars and on the table. I hope you have a chance to try this delicious hand-me-down recipe.
Thank you to Louise for sharing your apple sauce recipe with me, and for allowing me to share it with everyone here!
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Hey, I’m Maggie. I hope you will join me and my family in getting back to the land. Here you will learn about making things yourself, cooking homegrown food, and beginning a homesteading journey.