I normally don't buy fruit at the store, because we have so much growing on our property already. My apples, however, aren't sprayed at all. This means that I have to go through the apples and cut out rotten, bruised or wormy parts. I find that this is easiest to do by cutting each apple into quarters and then cutting out the seeds while I'm at it.
Most applesauce recipes require the use of a food mill, where you press the apples through a sieve and save the mashed up fruit (but discard the core, stem and seeds). When I lived at home, we would bake whole or halved apples in the oven for a couple hours, then run them through a Kitchen Aid food mill attachment. The food mill separated seeds, peels, and other parts from the sauce. It was fun to collect the applesauce and watch the "poop" (skins, seeds, cores) be pushed out the end, but it was a bit time-consuming to keep pushing apples through.
My method uses a crockpot and Vitamix blender to speed things up (and keep the house cool!). I don't bother peeling the apples because the skin gives the applesauce a nice pink color and adds nutrition. If you use a blender, it will chop up the skin so fine that you won't even notice it. I also don't bother using lemon juice or water to keep the apples from turning brown, because it will be pink anyway from the skins.
Easy Homemade Applesauce
Cinnamon, honey or brown sugar (optional)
1. Cut the apples into quarters, removing the seeds and any rotten, bruised or wormy parts.
3. When the apples are cooked, put them into a blender 4 cups at a time, and blend until you get the consistency you want. If you want to, add optional ingredients at this time.
5. Process in a water bath canner (20 minutes for pints, 25 minutes for quarts).
And that's all there is to it! For the most economical canning, use small mouth quart-size jars. Because the apples are free, I end up paying $0.15-$0.20 per quart of applesauce. Not bad, if you ask me. Adding honey or cinnamon will cost a few more pennies per quart, but it tastes SO good- almost like dessert.
What is your favorite thing to do with apples? What is your favorite way to make applesauce? Leave a comment below!