I’ve recently decided homemade apple sauce is the way to go. I received a bunch of apples from a co-worker. They were the standard red delicious variety, which Tommy doesn’t like to eat out of hand, so I decided to try my hand at making apple sauce out of them.
The first batch I made, I peeled all the apples and diced them to about 1×1 inch cubes, and using the crockpot, cooked them on high for a few hours. Once they looked good and cooked down, I used a potato masher to make it more of a sauce consistency. This method didn’t take all the lumps out, but I enjoyed the final result.
So much, that I ate both of the resulting jars in a few days. Although it only made two jars, because I only started with around eight apples, both jars were eaten very quickly.
For the second batch, I found red apples on sale at the grocery store 3 for $1, so I bought about 25 apples. They filled one of our smaller re-useable grocery bags, and weighed about 10 pounds (just guessing). When I got home with them, I decided I was going to be lazy this time and cook the apples with their peels. Since the most time consuming part of making apple sauce was the peeling, it took me a fraction of the time to get the apples prepped and ready for the crock pot. I also only cut the apples into eighths for this batch, which also saved time in the overall prep.
It will totally be personal preference as to whether or not you want to peel your apples before turning them into sauce. If you don’t want to peel them, but also don’t own a heavy duty blender, I recommend chopping the apple into smaller cubes. Because the peels don’t soften up as much as the white flesh; when you mash the cooked apples, the peel will stay around the same size you started with.
If you are lucky, and have a new fangled blender (like a VitaMix), just blend your cooked apples, in batches, until you have the consistency you desire.
Once your apples are blended, simply put them in whatever size jars you like (I use quart jars) and freeze. Remember to allow a little room at the top for expansion, you don’t want your jars blowing up in your freezer! Unless you enjoy scrubbing frozen bits of apple off the inside of your freezer, then by all means, fill-er-up!
Making your own apple sauce means you get to control what goes in. If you like to experiment, you can try other flavors: almond extract, splash of rum instead of apple juice, switch out the sugar for maple syrup or honey, try cardamom, or cloves to give your sauce a kick! You’re only limited by your imagination here, so go ahead, play with your food, I won’t tell. 😉
- 6 lbs apples (or enough to fill your crockpot)
- ¼ cup sugar - to taste. Honey or maple syrup can also be used.
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup apple cider, or apple juice, or water
- Cut each apple into fourths and remove stem & core, then cut each quarter in half.
- Put all the apple chunks into your crock pot.
- Pour remaining ingredients over the top of the apples.
- Cook on high for ~3 hours, or low for ~5 hours.
- When finished cooking mash the apples with a potato masher.
- If you don't like the resulting texture with the skin, blend the resulting sauce in batches, be sure the sauce is cool if you are using a standard blender. If you are using a more high-tech blender, like a VitaMix, you can blend it while it is hot.
- Taste, and add sugar or extra lemon juice as desired.