Fall is upon us, and with it, apple season, so it’s the perfect time to make all those apple pies, baked apples, and … apple sauce! If you’re like me, you won’t burst into excitement when thinking of making apple sauce. But, had I known before how easy it is to make and how much, much better it tastes than any store-bought apple sauce I ever ate, I’d have given it a try earlier.
I used to think that making apple sauce is a messy and time-intensive task, slaving away in the kitchen for a whole day. Then I did some research and came across an easier method of preservation, which I will explain below. Of course you can store apple sauce in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or in the freezer for years, but if you want to keep it at room temperature you will need to preserve it.
The recipe below yields 5 small jars (350 ml). This is not a big quantity, and if you have more apples, I recommend you double or triple the ingredients because it’s well worth it. The apple sauce tastes so good that you will probably eat it by the spoonful as a light dessert (like I do, I’ll admit it). Moreover, apple sauce is a staple when eating a plant-based diet, since it’s a great egg replacer, and it also serves as mild and natural sweetener. You can use apple sauce in pancakes, muffins, cakes, in your granola, overnight oats, smoothies, or energy bars. The possibilities are endless.
You will need some equipment, so here is what you want to have in place when you start:
5 glass jars with twist-off lids (each 350 ml)
1 small ladle
1 jar funnel
1-2 big tablespoons
2 large pots (one for cooking the apples, and one for boiling the jars)
Tongs (to pick up the hot jars after boiling them)
1-2 clean kitchen towels
Sweet, Delicious Home Made Apple Sauce Without Added Sweetener (And a Simple Method of Preservation)
- You'll need 5 glass jars (350 ml each).
- 1 small ladle
- 1 jar funnel
- 1-2 big tablespoons
- 1 immersion blender
- 2 large pots
- 1-2 clean kitchen towels
- 2 kg sweet apples
- 200 ml water
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- Wash the apples, peel them, and remove the core. Chop the apples coarsely.
- In a large pot, cook the apples together with all the other ingredients on low to medium heat, until the apples are soft and mushy (about 20 minutes).
- Fill a second large pot with water and add the jars, the lids, and the other equipment. Boil them for 10 minutes to sterilize them. I even hold the bottom of the immersion blender into the boiling water and the tips of the tongs.
- When the apples are soft and mushy, remove the cloves, and purée the apples with the immersion blender.
- Using the tongs, remove the other equipment from the boiling water and place them on a clean kitchen towel. You should keep the jars hot until you're ready to use them to prevent them from breaking when you fill them with the hot apple sauce.
- Pre-heat the oven to 100 ° C (212° F) .
- Using a ladle and jar funnel, fill the warm jars with the hot apple sauce to within 2 cm of the top. Try to be extra careful when filling in the apple sauce so that no sauce is spilled at the top of the jars. If you spilled some, use a clean towel to clean the top of the jar.
- Tighten the lids on the jars, place the jars on a baking tray and bake in the oven at 100 ° C for 1 hour. This step is needed for sterilizing and preserving.
- When done, turn off the oven, but do not open the oven door. Let the apple sauce to cool slowly, ideally overnight.
- Once cool, you can check that the jars are sealed by verifying if the lid has been sucked in. Just press with your finger in the center of the lid to see if it pops up and done. If it doesn't, the jars are sealed and you can store them at room temperature for up to a year. If they are not sealed, you can either repeat the last step of sterilization (baking in the oven), or place the jar in the fridge or freezer.