How to Make Applesauce: 3 Easy Steps to a Homemade Applesauce Recipe

How to Make Applesauce in 3 Easy Steps

If you’ve ever had homemade applesauce, you know that there is just no comparison to the store-bought version. Some people may look at applesauce and think, how in the world can I make that AT HOME? This blog will teach you how to make applesauce, and it’s way simpler than you think. 
It’s seriously easy in 3 steps. You do need a food mill for this recipe, but it’s definitely worth the investment. You’ll have it forever (I have my mother in law’s!), and you’ll use it year after year once you realize how yummy and easy applesauce is to make on your own! 
Learn how to make delicious applesauce below! 
How to Make Applesauce

How to Make Applesauce: Best Apples for Applesauce 

While you could probably use any apple you want for applesauce, there are definitely apples that make better applesauce than some others. We LOVE Ginger Gold for making applesauce. I actually don’t even mix our apples when we make applesauce each year. I use just that one kind. 
If I get some random apples cheap, I have definitely used a mixture, but for our large batch (usually 100 quarts) that we make each summer, I prefer Ginger Gold.
Ginger Gold are easily accessible in our area (Lancaster County, PA). We can usually buy them in bushels by the end of July. If I had to pick two others that make great, sweet applesauce, I would choose Honey Crisp and Golden Delicious mixed together. 
I definitely would not recommend Red Delicious. It makes for a very runny, dark sauce, that’s just not that great. 


How to Make Smooth Applesauce: What Tools Do You Need?

As I mentioned, you will need a food mill to make applesauce with this method. You can use one like pictured above that’s more old school, or you can get one like mine, which is a Victorio Strainer. 
Besides the food mill, you might find it handy to have a large ladle for scooping into the hopper of the food mill, some large bowls or pots, and lots of towels for messes! 
We love these bowls for all our canning projects, and we love these bar mops the best. You’ll also need a stock pot and water bath canner, if you plan to can this applesauce, or quart freezer bags/vacuum seal bags would work, too!
We start the cooking process in roasters, but you can use a simple crockpot, if that’s what you have. No biggie! 
Once you mill the apples, you will truly see how to make smooth applesauce because the mill does ALL the work!
How to Make Applesauce

How to Make Applesauce with a Food Mill: 3 Easy Steps 

Now that you know what kinds of apples and what tools you need, let’s get started with the how to make applesauce recipe! 
Step 1: Cut your apples in half. Leave the skins, the seeds, the stems – all of it! People always ask me how to make applesauce with skins on – this is it! Throw them in the roaster for at least 4 hours on 200. We don’t tend to kick the temp up much more because the apples will stick. 

Add about 1″ of water to help prevent sticking. You can leave them in there longer than 4 hours – really up to 24 hours, but your applesauce may get a little bit darker the longer they sit in there. Taste doesn’t really change, but the color may. 

Step 2: After your apples have softened in the roaster for several hours, you can start filling the hopper of the food mill. We love our huge ladle for this job. Start spinning the handle on your food mill to run the soft apples through. 

They will start to come out the shoot in a beautiful, clean sauce. If you’re using Ginger Gold, it will literally be a golden color. The scraps (seeds, skins, cores, stems) will come out the other side. These scraps can be fed to the chickens or pigs – or send them to the compost! 

Step 3: Once you have a bowl (or 5 gallon bucket) full of delicious applesauce, you’re ready to bring it to a boil on the stove in a stockpot, then can it! Applesauce can be done in a water bath canner, and you can bottle it in pints or quarts. We usually do quarts, but we are feeding 5 people at a meal. Can in the size that makes sense for your family. 

Pints should be water bathed for 15 minutes, and quarts should be water bathed for 20 minutes. 

If you’re freezing the applesauce, simply fill some quart freezer bags, and seal. We like to lay our bags flat to freeze, then stack in the deep freezer. 

At this point, you might be thinking, is this sweet enough? Well, if you were searching for how to make applesauce without sugar – you just did it! Most apples are sweet enough on their own that you don’t even need the added sugar. You could stir some sugar in (or some cinnamon!) when you eat it, if it’s not quite sweet enough for you. 

How to Make Applesauce

How to Make Applesauce: How long can it sit on the shelf or in the freezer? 

The Ball boxes now say food is good up to 18 months. You should use your best judgment on this. If you safely canned the applesauce according to current food safety guidelines, had clean procedures, and did the appropriate processing time, you should be able to safely eat your applesauce for a few years. Again, this is not official or legal or anything advice; it’s just my experience. 
You will probably want to use your freezer applesauce within a year, but like anything else, the sooner you eat it – the better the quality, the longer you wait – the lesser the quality. 
Making homemade applesauce is so easy – and we want you to enjoy it until next season! 


Other How to Resources from Chapel Hill Forge: Tutorials and more!

12 Cheap Ways to Preserve Food – Preservation on a Budget: Don’t have a bunch of tools or money? These tips will help you waste less, produce more, and save money all while filling your shelves!
How to Make Yogurt from Fresh Milk: Speaking of saving money…this blog (with video!) will teach you how to easily make yogurt with your Instant Pot. It’s so easy and SO much cheaper than buying yogurt at the store all the time. 
Quick Tomato Sauce: If you haven’t noticed, I’m all about high productivity, saving time, and not wasting money or resources. This blog (with video) will show you how to take your tomatoes in fresh form and make them into delicious sauce that you can use fresh, freeze, or can! 
Chapel Hill Forge

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