Monday, October 17, 2011


A few years back my husband had a student whose parents would send us a box of apples at Christmas.   The first year I made a bunch of pies and gave them away, then I got wise and pulled out my jars.  Applesauce is very easy, and amazingly delicious.  Plus, you can have it exactly the way you like it- smooth, chunky, plain, sweetened, flavored….  It’s great.

Spencer as a caterpillar at Carter Mountain
I took Spencer up to Carter Mountain Orchard, a beautiful pick your own spot.  We didn’t have time to pick, so we rummaged through the bins, choosing sweet apples- empire, golden delicious, Jonathan, McIntosh, anything that came with the cheaper price tag and the description of sweet. 
12 Carter apples + 1 leftover apple from lunch

You will need:

12-13 apples, about 6 lbs ($8.09)

Cinnamon (optional) ($1.97 for 2.37 oz, estimated $.19)

Pint Ball jars ($10.99 for 12, $10.99/12 = $.92 x 5 = $4.58)

Peel, core, and roughly chop apples.  Put them in a large pot over medium high heat with a few inches of water (this is vague, but that’s what I did.  If it looks too wet, cook uncovered).  Cook until apples are very tender, 15-20 minutes.  While the apples are cooking, sterilize 5 pint jars (or 10 ½ pints).  Once the apples are soft you have to decide what you want.  If you like chunky sauce, mash them with a potato masher.  My son likes smooth sauce, so I ran it though the food processor.  Then I put it in a bowl (I needed the pot, but the pot would have been better) and added a teaspoon of cinnamon.  I know that amounts to a pinch, but I really just wanted a hint, cinnamon is often overpowering to me.  Pour the sauce into the jars, seal them up, and process them for 10-15 minutes.  If you have any leftovers, eat them hot!  It’s so good!
Chopped apples ready to cook (I took out some of the water, this was too much)
Mmmm.  Smells delicious!
Steaming applesauce with a swirl of cinnamon
Canned and ready.

Try It:

$12.86 per 5 pints, or $.16/oz (including reusable jar)

Buy It:

$4.49 per 32 oz of local applesauce (what I normally buy), or $.14/oz


Well, it’s cheaper than store bought if you leave out the jar, but it would still be cheaper to buy Mott’s or store brand.  It’s a good project, though- easy, quick, and tasty.  For me, I’ll keep trying it, but if you’re looking to save cash, buy it.  (Or cut your apple costs by rummaging the seconds bins at your local orchard)
Enjoying the warm leftovers


  1. I've never figured up the coss, but I definitely prefer homemade applesauce to storebought, regardless of brand. Using seconds makes the sauce a lot cheaper, and sometimes, buying by the peck or the bushel can decrease the costs even more. Part of the reason I went for homemade, even though it might be a bit more expensive, is that I prefer to avoid additives and HFCS.

    When I make my own, instead of peeling and coring the apples, I just quarter them, skin, seeds and all, cook them, and then run the hot apples through a hand crank food mill. The skin and the seeds are separated from the pulp, and it's pretty easy to just dump the skins/seeds out. The skins can leave the sauce on the pink side (if you have red apples) but that never bothered me :)

  2. This looks incredible, and just put me in the mood for apple sauce. I've done it with a food mill, too, and it saves all the time of peeling the apples. So excited to try this!

  3. I considered adding the hint about a food mill, but I don't own one, and had only read about it, so I didn't feel like I could write about it. A food mill is one of those things I know I don't need, but is on my permanent gift list!

  4. I made applesauce today! thanks for the inspiration! I put a cinnamon stick in with the apples while the cooked, but the flavor didn't pop out as much as I wanted it to, so i kept part of the stick in the the bowl (I didn't jar it - looks like i know what i'm having for a snack for the next while!) but when I just pulled it out of the fridge, it tasted amazing! oh, and the apples i had weren't super sweet, so i added some sugar. thanks!

  5. Ohhh ... and ... to make applebutter, put your homemade applesauce in the crockpot and leave for a day or so, stirring every so often. Put in a couple cinnamon sticks, cloves and grate fresh nutmeg in. Many of the applebutters you get have lots of added sugar, but I don't see the need. Cool site, Laura!

    Denni from Peavine Hollow ...

  6. One more fun thing to do with apples ... if you have a food dehydrator, sprinkle the peeled (optional), cored and sliced (thin) apples with cinnamon and dry. I've never had to add anything else on them and they don't get brown. The chips are a great snack or good in oatmeal or homemade granola. I use them all year long.

    I've got one of those contraptions that peels, cores and slices all at once. Makes this easier, for sure.

    Denni, again.