We buy a lot of apples in the fall when they are in season. We use them every week in our healthy veggie juice too. It’s not uncommon for us to end up with more apples than we can eat before they go bad. And while apple pies and apple crisps are amazing, they should only be consumed in moderation. What are you to do then when you have an overabundance of apples? Make your own applesauce and apple butter, of course, and use it throughout the year.
Both applesauce and apple butter are easy to make and easy to can. Canning allows you to store them for up to a year and the jars won’t take up precious space in your fridge or freezer. As an added bonus, your homemade versions will be healthier and tastier than what you can find at the grocery store. You get to customize your apple preserves to your family’s taste and you know exactly what goes into each jar. Here are my favorite recipes for each.
Homemade Apple Sauce
8 medium apples
1.5 cups of water
½ cup of sugar (adjust as needed)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
Start by washing, peeling and coring your apples. Chop them into bite-sized chunks and add them to a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients.
The sugar is variable. Start by adding half of it, unless you’re dealing with tart apples. Taste your apple sauce and add more towards the end. The cinnamon is optional. If you like cinnamon in your applesauce, add it, if not, feel free to leave it out. Of course you can also use more or less according to taste.
Bring the apple mixture to a simmer and cook covered on medium heat until the apples are soft. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of your chunks and the apple variety.
Mash it into apple sauce with a potato masher, a fork, or an immersion blender.
Homemade Apple Butter
Apple butter cooks slow and low. The easiest way to prepare it is in the slow cooker. Here’s what you need:
4 pounds of apples
3 cups of sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of salt
Start by peeling, coring and chopping your apples. Put them in the slow cooker. Mix the sugar, salt and spices and pour them over the apples. Put the lid on and cook the mixture on high for one hour. Turn the slow cooker to low and cook it an additional 10 hours. Stir it occasionally. Your apple butter is ready when it is brown and starts to thicken.