How to Make Applesauce.


How kind your comments were yesterday. Thanks for all the sweetness. Yes indeed, this growing up business is something. In other news, my kitchen has been busier in the past week than even the last flurry of food preservation. It has been quite the summer for putting food by.

This weekend's foraging left me with bags upon bags of apples all around my kitchen. And, um, a full-sized cooler filled to the top. We had some apples to contend with. Because they were wild, many weren't going to keep. I picked through them and set aside a basket of perfect apples. The rest headed to the cooking post. Apple sauce, apple cider, dried apples, and apple butter are all good options for your imperfect apples. I know how we eat, so sauce was my first priority.

The process is ridiculously simple. If you still buy applesauce at the store you might stop after reading this. Note: I use a Victorio food mill that I picked up at a thrift store (similar to this mill) for $5 and I love it so. If you don't have a food mill of one kind or another, you'll want to stem, peel, and seed your apples. And I send you my apologies. (It will take longer but is still ridiculously easy.)












Quarter all the apples you have. Leave the seeds, skins, and all. We'll deal with them later. Cut out any bruises or creepy spots.

Transfer to your biggest cooking pot. Stainless is best, but use what you have. For every 8 C of apple chunks add 1 1/2 C water. Add a splash of lemon juice, 2 T for every 8 C. (I added chai spices to one batch – cloves, fresh ginger, cinnamon, and cardamon – and left one batch plain.)

Bring to a simmer, then lower heat and cover. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

When the apples are soft (20 – 40 minutes, depending on size of batch and type of apples), cool slightly, then transter to your food mill and process.

Pack into jars and can in hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars carefully, then gaze with satisfaction at your work.

A few notes…

1. Yes, I let my kids work with burning hot apple sauce. It's good for their character. I love that I don't even ask them to help but they hear the food mill and come runnin'! This is a great job for kids.

2. The apple sauces are various colors because some were made with crazy wild apples that literally turned brown 5 seconds after I cut them. Even with lemon juice. So I added some spices to that batch and called it Spiced.That made it seem like I did it on purpose.

3. Thank you for ignoring the bags of fruit and baskets of laundry the background.

4. And finally, yes you too can manifest a food mill for $5. I did so as follows: Sage was a baby. Amazingly, he fell asleep in the car. (This almost never happened. Literally, I can count the occasions on my fingers.) Pete and I were on the way to the thrift store. We wanted to capitalize on the nap, so we decided to take turns going in. While Pete shopped and Sage snoozed I thumbed through a Lehman's catalog that I had in the car. (What? You don't carry a Lehman's catalog in your car? I lived off grid. I got off on the hand-crank blenders. What can I say. Get a Lehman's catalog and put it in your car. You never know.) I saw this exact food mill in the catalog (for $75) and said "Ooh! I want one of those!" Then Pete came out of the store and I went in and found one for $5, did a little dance, and then we went home.

30 thoughts on “How to Make Applesauce.

  1. sarah says:

    oh my, that food mill! i’ve never seen anything like it. i’m in love…..also, happy birthday to sage — your post from yesterday pulled my heart strings for sure.

  2. Jody says:

    That food mill is a life saver. My was gifted to me 🙂 36 qts of yummy honey, strawberry and cinnamon applesauce on the shelves! Foraged apples are the BEST!

  3. Jenn B says:

    I have a very basic food mill and I could never get it to work well. So for my applesauce I process the apples with my trusty peeler/slicer/corer and then throw the apples in the crockpot overnight. Super easy and delicious, and by leaving the lid off for a few hours I get apple butter. I can’t wait to go apple picking!

  4. Anna says:

    I found your blog through Sofya and have been reading for a few days. Love it so far. 🙂 But I do have a question about the food mill. Could I use an immersion blender instead? Or is the food mill necessary for particular texture?

  5. Kiyomi D says:

    Oh I can’t wait for our apples to be ready so we can make our applesauce. We make gallons at a time! Last year we filled our 8′ F-350 truck bed full of apples for applesauce just from the four trees at my in-laws!

  6. stacy h says:

    oh, it makes me SO happy to see pics of your kiddo making applesauce <3 i grew up making applesauce with my mom, too. we put it on everything- pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, etc. the best was eating it fresh/warm with a little cinnamon sugar, yum. at almost 30yrs old, i still love making it with my mom and now my little ones, too. it's my secret weapon to help the kids eat up their veggies at mealtime- they think of it as a treat!

  7. Carrie S. says:

    Now you’re making me want to go apple picking – but I haven’t wanted to fork over the $50+ for a food mill. I need a $5 version, too! Applesauce is seriously the simplest thing in the world to can, and works for babies on up. A super food!

  8. Lynn Matthews says:

    what a good thing you are teaching your children. so much better than sitting them down infront of the tv all day ; ) Thank you for shareing so now i can try this with my 4 year old 😉

  9. brandy says:

    Thanks for posting this. I made applesauce for my second time this year, and I struggled a bit with how much water to add, which resulted in a fabulous batch, a burned disaster batch, and a so-so batch. 🙂 I’ll try your guidelines next time I make it. (I picked my foodmill up for about 25 dollars at Fleet Farm, it was on sale a few weeks ago, almost half price. Deals can be found!)

  10. davek says:

    It looks so easy, bet i test alot better then store bought. I remember my grandmother making home hade apple sauce. Brings back good old memories. Thanks

  11. Mikaela says:

    Yes! I’m thinking next Sunday will be applesauce day… So thrilled about the abundance of delicious food this time of year!

  12. renee ~ heirloom seasons says:

    Yes, actually we do carry around a Lehman’s catalog in the car. I even bring it into the hardware store sometimes.
    We are also an obsessive wild apple harvesting family.
    I have only recently discovered your blog and have enjoyed it very much, thank you!

  13. Rachel Wolf says:

    You can use an immersion blender if you core (and possibly peel) your apples first. The mill removes seeds, stems, skins, and tough bits. Thats the magic of it.

    All the best,

  14. Emmalina says:

    I just made this with my new out of the box Roma strainer and it worked beautifully! I can’t believe how much pulp I got out of the apples I used, this will save us a fortune in shop bought fruit pots that’s for sure! Thanks for the tutorial : )

  15. Laura Anderson says:

    I remember using something very similar to make applesauce & canned tomatoes as a kid. I believe we borrowed it from my grandmother. Ah, the memories!

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