Holiday Gift Recipe: Homemade Applesauce

Everyone loves applesauce -- and if you know how to jar, it makes a great homemade gift!

Greta Dunlap, a California Master Food Preserver, has shared with us her easy applesauce recipe. She gives it to friends for all the major winter holidays, and she reports it's always a hit.

A word of advice before you begin: proper canning and jarring is both an art and a science. You'll want to know what you're doing before you embark on water bath canning -- luckily, the Food Preservers offer classes!

Homemade Applesauce
Select apples that are sweet, juicy and crisp. For a tart flavor, add 1 to 2 pounds of tart apples to each 3 pounds of sweeter fruit.

Wash, peel and core apples.

Place pieces in cold water with some bottled lemon juice, about 1 teaspoon to a gallon of water, to prevent darkening.

Drain slices and place in 8 to 10 quart pot. Add ½ cup water. Stir occasionally to prevent burning, heat quickly and cook until tender (5 to 20 minutes, depending on maturity and variety).

Press through a sieve or food mill, if desired. (If you prefer chunky-style sauce, omit this step.) If desired, add 1/8 cup sugar per quart of sauce. Add some fresh cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla bean to taste.

Reheat sauce to boiling. Pack into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids.

Process in a boiling water bath. Pints: 15 minutes. Quarts: 20 minutes


See Greta's recipe for salsa verde here.

About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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