I had a special Homekeeping day this week. I got to make (bunches and bunches) of homemade applesauce with my mom-in-law and sister-in-law. We took about 40 lbs. of beautiful Fuji apples and cooked, squished, and seasoned them into super-yummy applesauce. Then we canned (why is is not called “jarred”?) the sauce into lots of mason jars so we will all have applesauce for quite a while. I am really looking forward to using mine to go along with pork tenderloin at Christmas, and for Little Lady as she starts eating real food.
We also had a great time just hanging out together, playing when the kids, and talking. It was a neat thing, we had three generations together, but we also had three “homekeeping generations” together as well. My sister-in-law, homekeeper of her first place with her new hubby. My mom-in-law in her newly-empty-nest, homekeeping both a retreat for her and my dad-in-law and a great place for grand-kids. And me, homekeeping our apartment for Big Man and our Little Ones, in the midst of lots of toys, baby clothes, and sippy cups.
And even though we are each in a different phase of life now, we were all really excited to make homemade applesauce. There is no comparison between homemade applesauce and the store-bought kind, which has so much less flavor. And applesauce is actually easy to make; the hardest part is just doing the prep work on the apples. If you decide to can your applesauce, just follow the instructions for your canning equipment, remembering to keep the jars warm, fill with warm applesauce, and then process for the correct amount of time. (A good resource for canning is the Ball website). If you aren’t going to can your applesauce, you can keep it in the fridge for a week or freeze it for up to six months.
Homemade Applesauce (scale-able to however many apples you have)~5 lbs of your favorite sweet/tart apple (don’t use something completely tart like Granny Smith. You want something sweet or sweet/tart like Gala or Fuji) ~Water ~Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
Prep the apples by peeling and coring them, and slicing into large chunks. Place all the apples in a large stock pot and add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot (you just need enough to keep the apples from sticking in the first few minutes before their juices release). Cover and heat over medium-high heat, stirring to keep the apples from sticking. Once the apples start to release their juices, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the apples are very soft. For chunkier applesauce, mash the apples with a potato masher. For smoother applesauce, use a food processor to mash the apples (you may have to work in batches depending on how many apples you have). Once all your apples are squished into sauce, return pot to very low heat and add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. You shouldn’t have to add any sugar. Stir in the spices and heat through, then store as desired.
You’ll never go back to store-bought again, I promise!