I absolutely LOVE applesauce, and so do my kids! Unfortunately, a lot of the applesauce varieties sold in stores these days are full of high fructose corn syrup and more preservatives than I care to feed my family. The more natural types of applesauce being sold are rather expensive, which is why I prefer to make and jar my own applesauce!
Start to finish it took me about 2 hours (including household distractions and things).
Step 1- Peel and core the apples, chop into pieces (I use one of those corer/chopper things to make those steps go faster), wash the apple slices.
Step 2- Place apple slices into pot with about an inch or so of water. Simmer on stove until soft and mushy. About 20 minutes.
Step 3- Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Then mush up the apples to make applesauce. This can be done by hand for chunky applesauce, or it can be done in a blender for thinner applesauce, more like what you would buy at the store. I use my blender because my kids are used to the texture of store bought applesauce, making the transition to homemade easier.
Step 4- Place applesauce back into the pot and put it on the stove. Add sugar to obtain desired sweetness, add some cinnamon if you like cinnamon applesauce. Another option here is to add lemon juice, 1/2 tbsp per pint. The addition of lemon juice is recommended if you are using bruised or slightly older apples (often used for applesauce), as bruised and older apples tend to be less acidic than fresh, crisp apples.
Step 5- Spoon or ladle applesauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth, center lids on jars, tighten ring around jars. Place jars (pints or quarts) in a hot water bath and process for 20 minutes. Remove jars and set on counter to cool. The lids should pop within a few hours. Also note, if you are using wide mouth jars (as opposed to regular), the lids may take longer to pop.
That’s it! You’re done! And while the cans are processing there’s time to wash everything used during the making of the applesauce. This is great for me, as it means that when I remove the jars from the hot water bath, I am done and my kitchen is clean! Ready to move on to the next thing!
Remember to label your applesauce with the date made and store it in a cool area of your home (so not right next to a heating vent or fireplace). The applesauce will be good for 1 to 2 years.