So I enjoy apple sauce, especially with pork. My little bug enjoys apple sauce as well. Because of this I make apple sauce every year. The other thing is that much like making cider, apple sauce is a great way to use bruised apples or to take care of apples that you think might turn bad. Clearly if the apple is rotten you don’t want to use it, but it is up to you how bruised and such you want to draw the line at.
The other great thing about making apple sauce is that while it takes a while, you don’t need much of anything other than a large pot and some time to let it go. So what is the secret recipe? There really isn’t one.
Making Apple Sauce the Hootenanny Way
First you’ll want to find a large pot (I like stainless steel the best, but use what you have). It will need to work with the amount of apples you want to use. There will be some guess work the first few times as the apples will take up a lot less space in sauce form then they will in full up apple form. Also you can feed apples in as they go down to the sauced form, so it doesn’t have to hold all your full apples at the beginning.
Next you’ll want to gather up your apples. Any type that are edible would work, but I would be careful about using only really sweet apples. A blend will land you the best flavor. You will need to take any stems off at a minimum. You can peel them if you wish, if not you will want to wash them. You may want to wash them even if you peel them. You probably want to core them, if not you’ll need to strain out the seeds later. You can toss them in whole or chunked up or sliced. It will all make its way down to apple sauce.
After that in you large pot it would help to add a liquid. If I have some on hand I would pour in some apple cider. If not I normally go with water. You could pour in another liquid if you so desire, it’s mostly there to help transfer heat to the apples. Put your pot on a heat source and start adding apples.
Let the stirring begin
Now you will need to stir every so often to make sure that the sugar from the apples isn’t burning on the bottom of your pot. You’ll see your apples go from fairly firm to mushy. Then from mushy to goo, then it will begin to look like apple sauce! Just keep stirring and stirring.
When is this done?
Doneness is up to you. If you started with chunks of apples you can stop when it looks like apple sauce but still has some chunks floating about. Just call it “rustic apple sauce” and you are good. Perhaps you like it a bit chunky, where there may be some apple slices still there. You can let it go until there are just small bits of apple in the sauce. If you want something a bit smoother and you have an immersion blender feel free to fire that up and get your sauce as smooth as you would like.
Let the Spice Flow!
Now is the most important part of the process. Pull out a spoon and try some. Is it sweet enough? If not add in some sugar, you could go with brown or white, whatever you have on hand. Next you will have to decide if you want any spices. It’s fine to not add any now and add some in later. Or you could spice now. Cinnamon always goes well, but I’ve added nutmeg, ginger, all spice and cloves at times. Feel free to play around with how much and what blend of spices works for your palate.
Storing the sauce
Now that you’ve made this sauce what do you do with it. If you just have a bit why not use it for dinner that night and use it fresh. Next what kind of preservation skills do you have? If there is freezer space you can put it into containers and store it in the freezer until later. Then again, if you know how to can you could put it up in jars with just a water bath canning process and some glass jars. Then you could leave it on the shelf to remind you that you have it. You could also give it to your friends as gifts if you find yourself with too much. Just be sure you label if it is spiced or not and the date that you put it up.