For the last several years I've been freezing our own applesauce with the help of my sweet momma. I love the process of creating a homemade homestead and Taylor absolutely loves applesauce- so it's a double win. We've always frozen the applesauce in the past but this year we tried canning them to save room in the freezer.
Making your own applesauce is quite easy and doesn't take much time if you choose to freeze it. Canning applesauce takes about twice as long but if you're limited on room in the freezer- it's the better option.
MAKING YOUR OWN APPLESAUCE
Step 1: Slice your apples
We bought Paula Red apples this year but my favorite apple is the Early Transparent. The Early Transparent apples are a bit more tart but both are great choices! I opted to do 2 bushels of the apples this year since we go through applesauce so quickly in our household.
You'll want to start by quartering the apples. Do NOT core or deseed the apples! They'll run through the strainer later so don't worry about the seeds now! Most of the apples for us this year were about baseball size. You'll just want to make sure all the slices are about the same size so when you heat the apples, they are evenly cooked.
Step 2: Heating your apples
Once all the apples are sliced, take a larger pot and dump the sliced apples into the pot to fill about 3/4. I added about 1/2-1 cup of water to the apple slices and turned up the heat! You can cover the pan but you want to cook the apples until they are soft. Once everything is rolling and your pan is hot from previous times, it should only take about 5-10 minutes until they're soft.
The reason you want to heat the apples is to get them soft so they can go through the strainer. After they're soft we're going to move them over to the table to run them through the strainer to get the applesauce!
Step 3: Strain the apples
This is the fun part and where you start to see the fruits of your labors! Once you have the hot apples that are mushy, bring your hot pan to the table and transfer the apples into the top part of your Victorio strainer. Start cranking your strainer, while shoving the apples through and you'll begin to get applesauce in your pan!
The great thing about this strainer is you can use it for multiple canning projects! Load whatever you want into the top shoot, crank it through and the peels and guts of the apples come out the back end! So simple!
Step 4: Adding sugar/cinnamon
Once you have your strained applesauce, you're ready to mix in sugar or cinnamon! Not all apple types require sugar and you surely don't have to add sugar if you prefer not to! Some apples are more tart than others requiring to add sugar to sweeten things up a bit.
I added about 2 cups of sugar and a tablespoon of cinnamon to my large bowl of applesauce. You can taste test along the way if you want to add as you go!
Choosing freezing vs. canning
Freezing your applesauce is the easiest and most simple way of preserving your applesauce. Once your applesauce is ready, grab some of the plastic Glade containers and fill 'em up! With 1 bushel of apples, I yeilded about 20-23 containers of applesauce. We have a large chest freezer that we then just throw the containers down into. And you're DONE! Pat yourself on the back!
Canning your applesauce takes about twice as long I think. It's a bit more work than just throwing them in a container BUT it saves room if you're lacking freezer space. According to the BALL canning book, you'll want to get a pan on the stove top, fill it up with your applesauce and bring it back up to boil (making sure to stir so it doesn't burn).
Once it's heated, you can start to put them in your hot canning jars. Top them with your hot lids/seals and you can place them into the hot water bath.
Making sure the water in your pan covers your quart jars and boil for about 20 minutes to ensure they seal.
Once they went through the hot water bath, place them on a towel on your counter and enjoy the sweet sounds of lids popping as they seal! Wipe the sweat from your brows and vow to only freeze your applesauce from now on! Haha!
I hope this inspires you to do up your own applesauce. Not only do you know what's now in your applesauce but once calculated, I ended with about $1 per container! Some sweet savings!
Let me know what you choose to do below! Do you have a favorite apple you like to do up every year?