If you remember Mom's old-fashioned chunky applesauce, here's the quick and easy way to make chunky applesauce with NO special equipment.
With chunks of apples, natural sweetness, no added sugar or preservatives, this chunky applesauce will taste MUCH better than anything you've ever had from a store. By selecting the right apples, it will be so naturally-sweet that you won't need to add any sugar at all.
Here's how to do it without, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated.
If you decide to can the applesauce, the jars have a shelf
life of 18 months to 2 years, and require no special attention.
& And of course, you can freeze the applesauce instead (it keeps indefinitely in a good freezer). And it will keep a few weeks in a cold fridge.
Directions for Making Chunky Applesauce
- Apples (see step 1)
- Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)
- Jar funnel ($2 at mall kitchen stores and local "big box" stores, but it's usually cheaper online from our affiliates)
- Vegetable / fruit peeler ($1.99 at the grocery store
- At least 1 large pot
- Large spoons and ladles
- Ball jars (Publix, Kroger, other grocery stores and some "big box" stores carry them - about $8 per dozen quart jars including the lids and rings)
- If you want to can the applesauce rather than store it in the fridge or freezer: 1 very large pot or 1 Water Bath Canner (a huge pot with a lifting rack to sanitize the jars of applesauce after filling (about $20 to $35 at mall kitchen stores and local "big box" stores, but it's usually cheaper online from our affiliates) You CAN use a large pot instead, but the canners are deeper, and have a rack top make lifting the jars out easier. If you plan on canning every year, they're worth the investment.
Chunky Apple Sauce Recipe and Directions
Step 1 - Selecting the apples
The most important step! You need apples that are sweet - NOT something like Granny Smith's. Yeah, I know you like them (why do sweet women like sour apples???) and even if I did, they still wouldn't make good applesauce - you'd have to add a lot of sugar.
Instead, choose apples that are naturally sweet, like Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Rome and always use a mixture - never just one type. This year I used
- 30% Fuji,
- 30% Gala
- 20% red Delicious
- 10% Yellow Delicious, and
- 10% Winesap.
This meant it was so sweet I did not need to add any sugar at all. And the flavor is great! The Fuji's and Gala's give it an aromatic flavor!
Step 2 - How many apples and where to get them
You can pick your own, or buy them at the grocery store. Grocery store prices for apples typically range from $1 to $2 per lb. Of course, in larger quantities, they can be had for much less. They were available from late September at $12 to $24 per bushel (which is 42 pounds, so even at $24 per bushel, that's only 57 cents per pound).
If you're only making a small amount, figure about 3 to 4 pounds of apples per quart of applesauce you want to make.
Buying in bulk, you'll get about 12 to 14 quarts of applesauce per bushel of apples.
Step 3 -Wash and peel the apples!
I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the apples in plain cold water.
Using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife, peel the apples.
Step 4 -Wash and peel and chop the apples!
Chopping them is much faster if you use one of those apple corer/segmenters - you just push it down on an apple and it cuts it into segments.
Using a paring knife, be sure to remove any seeds, hard parts (usually the part around the seeds) and any mush or dark areas.
Step 5 - Cook the Apples
Pretty simple! Put about 1 inch of water (I used either filtered tap water or store brand apple juice) on the bottom of a huge, thick-bottomed pot. Put the lid on, and the heat on high. When it gets really going, turn it to medium high until the apples are soft through and through. As the apples cook, they'll release more water (apples are 99% water!).
You need only cook the apples until they become soft, but before they completely fall apart
I usually leave all the water/juice in there, as the apple sauce tends to thicken naturally as it cools, but it there is excessive free water, you can ladle it off (and drink it; it's apple juice!)!
Step 6 - Season and keep the applesauce hot
Put the applesauce into a large pot. Add cinnamon to taste. You
should not need to add any sugar.
The applesauce does not need any further cooking; just keep it hot until you get enough made to fill the jars you will put into the canner (Canners hold seven jars at once, whether they are quart or pint size).
Of course, if you are going to eat the applesauce fresh, freeze it, or just store it in the fridge (lasts a week or two) then you're done!
If you want to can the applesauce:
Step 7 - Wash the jars and lids
The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle. Otherwise put the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. I just put the lids in a small pot of almost boiling water for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" (available from target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) to pull them out.
Step 8 - Fill the jars
Fill them to within ¼-inch of the top, wipe any spilled applesauce of the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Put them in the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 inch of water and boiling. Boil them for at least 20 minutes (and no more than 30 min).
Step 9 - Done
Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight) You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.
From left to right:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do I have to use a sieve or food mill, if I peel the apples before I cook them for applesauce? I'm really one of the cheapest people ever and would rather do the extra work than go buy equipment!
Q. Can I use a blender for making apple sauce instead of a food mill or food processor?
Deluxe Food Strainer & Sauce Maker
With the Deluxe Food Strainer/Sauce Maker, you can make creamy apple sauce and smooth tomato sauce without having to peel and core! This multi-use strainer forces food through a stainless steel screen, automatically separating the juice and pulp from the seeds, shins, and stems. Perfect for purees, creamed soups, baby foods, pie filling, juices, jams, and more. Save time, effort, and money by preparing your own tasty sauces to be used immediately or boiled for future use. Do bushels with ease and in a fraction of the time. Includes the tomato/apple screen with easy twist on design and instruction/recipe booklet.
The Deluxe model comes with the standard Tomato/Apple Screen; as well as the Berry Screen, Pumpkin Screen, and Grape Spiral. Note
Mirro Stainless Steel Foley Food Mill
Don't forget the Ball Blue Book!
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This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also s simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if your want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see
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