There are lots of ways to make applesauce. My mother-in-law used to add Red Hots to hers, which made it spicy, sweet, pink and very popular with little people. But, I take a more basic approach. I usually do this in huge batches, so feel free to adjust down according to your family size and applesauce appetites.
- Enough apples to fill a large stock pot three-quarters full. I use Haralsons because that is what I grow, and I peel and quarter them, removing any bad bits before putting them in the pot. Here’s another approach from Margaret Roach at Away to Garden.
- Juice of one lemon to keep things from browning too much
- Apple cider or water to cover the bottom of the pot. (For my big stock pot, I use about 3 cups)
- Sugar and cinnamon to taste
Fill the pot with apples doused in lemon juice and add cider or water. Cook, partially covered, until the apples break down and mush up. This typically takes 30 to 45 minutes for a large pot, but if you were doing this in a smaller pot, it might take only 15 to 20 minutes. Once everything is mushy, add sugar and cinnamon to taste.
I like my sauce a bit tart, so I typically add only 1 cup of sugar to a huge pot of sauce. Go wild with the cinnamon or delete it entirely.
You can preserve the sauce in jars using the hot-water bath method. Follow these directions, and process for about 25 minutes. For canning applesauce, I highly recommend wide-mouth pint jars.
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