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

Enjoy!

See Greta's recipe for salsa verde here.

About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org 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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