How can I make applesauce at home?

Fuji apples are great for applesauce.

Applesauce is a puree of boiled apples that is very easy to make at home. Since many people prefer to customize the spiciness and sweetness of their applesauce, homemade applesauce is a great way to get around unsatisfying store purchases. For people with bountiful apple crops, applesauce is also an efficient way to store apples over the winter. Once prepared, applesauce can be used in a variety of foods or eaten alone, and is a very popular baby food in many parts of the world. You can also make applesauce with young or beginner cooks to teach them a quick, basic recipe that’s also fun to eat.

Cinnamon is often used to flavor applesauce.

To make applesauce, start with three to four pounds (about two kilograms) of apples that are suitable for baking or cooking. Gravesteins, Granny Smiths, Fujis, McIntoshes, Jonathans, Golden Delicious and Pippins are great choices for making applesauce. Many cooks also like to mix several varieties in one batch for a more complex flavor. Peel the apples and remove the core; an apple still is a useful tool for this task. Once peeled, roughly chop the apples and throw them in a large pot.

Applesauce is often seasoned with nutmeg.

Add a cup of water, the juice and zest of one lemon, a pinch of salt, and three to four cinnamon sticks to the applesauce. Other seasonings like ground cloves, nutmeg or allspice can also be used and can be mixed in at the end. Also, you’ll need up to three-quarters of a cup of sugar. Mixing light and dark sugars is an excellent way to adjust the flavor, and use less sugar if you want to make applesauce that is more tart.

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Granny Smith apples make good applesauce.

Bring the pot to a boil, covered, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the apples are tender. Remove the cinnamon sticks and puree. For thicker applesauce, use a potato masher or large wooden spoon. For a smooth puree, use a blender, food grinder, or ricer to achieve the desired uniform texture.

Once you’ve made the applesauce, you can freeze it for up to a year. It also keeps refrigerated for several days, or can be canned and stored in a cool, dry place. If you make applesauce and intend to can it, be sure to follow safety procedures for canning boiling water to ensure that applesauce remains safe and healthy to eat.

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