Today, I have something special to share with you. I’ve teamed up with a group of 12 incredible bloggers to bring you not just one post – but multiple posts – all focusing on the same theme.
These ladies have been a great support to me as I’ve journeyed through my short time as a blogger. We’re all from different parts of the continent, and yet I consider them all to be my friends. We’ve created a group called “My Favorite Bloggers” (or if you’re from Canada, you’ll jam a “u” in there so that your conscience can stay quiet!) – and each month we will feature projects, recipes and ideas all surrounding a unified theme!
Before I delve into this month’s theme, I’d like you to meet the group:
They are, from left to right, top down:
Kristen from One Tough Mother; Sky from Creative Captial B; Marilyn from 4 You with Love; ME! from Suburble; Bethany from Pitter and Glink; Melanie from It Happens in a Blink; Kara from Petal to Picots; ChiWei from One Dog Woof; Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me; Kadie from 7 Alive; Nancy from Small Things with Love; and Amy from One Artsy Mama.
This month’s theme is Apples. As Summer’s eyelids are getting heavy, and Fall is starting to flex his biceps in preparation for all of the leaf-loosening he’s going to be working on soon, apples are going to be ripening on the branches. Doesn’t Autumn just scream of apples and leaves and… teachers!?!?!
Applesauce is always a huge hit in our house. When they know that there is a jar of this golden loveliness in our freezer, the girls always request it for dessert.
And because I know what it’s in it, I let them have some. They holler in excitement; I scoop out big dollops of sauce and think, “It’s just apples and water with a tiny bit of sugar. How could I have tricked them so well with THIS?!? Why can’t I trick them to clean the playroom?”
- approx 20 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
- 3 cups of water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Combine the apples and water into a pot; bring to a boil
- Simmer the apples on low-medium heat until the apples are mushy enough to be mushed by a potato masher
- Mash the apples until they resemble a chunky sauce
- Put the apple mixture through a chinois strainer (or run through a food processor)
- Add cinnamon and sugar to the smooth sauce
- Fill jars with applesauce mixture and leave to cool
- Screw on snap lid and put jar in freezer. Use within 12 months.
- Look for "No. 2" apples at the produce store (or ask at the grocery store) - they're a great way to get apples inexpensively!
Our local produce store often sells boxes of “No. 2” produce for a few dollars. I bought a large box of apples for $7! Because they’re seconds, the apples have bruises and little bumps and marks on them. It doesn’t phase me – I’m just cooking the crap out of these apples – they’re not an art piece!
I peel, core and quarter my apples before popping them into the pot. I know that some of the pectin is in the peel and core, but it really gets in my way during the “saucing” process. To those who are made of tougher stuff, I say, leave the peels on! Be crazy!
I’ll be over here with my naked apples.
Well, semi-naked. I do a bit of a “lazy-peel” of the apples.
The apples are cooked down with water, until they’ve gotten mushy enough to be smashed with a potato masher.
The apples are then run through the chinois strainer. Do you not have one of these yet? Get one! You’re going to need it! (Or you can use a sieve and a food processor… but there’s something so Little House in the Suburbs about cranking that pestle around the strainer. It’s a good bicep workout, too.)
You should be left with applesauce. It’s really that simple!
To this, I add a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon. I like my applesauce to taste a little bit like apple pie.
Because this is a freezer recipe, the jars don’t have to be sanitized prior to housing the applesauce. Just give them a good wash with hot soapy water. Once the jars have cooled, seal them with lids and rings and then pop them into the freezer. Do your best to use them within the year. (Who am I kidding? It will be gone long before then!)
From my box of apples, I managed to fill 16 jars with applesauce. Already, the girls (and Mr. Suburble) have had heaping bowlfuls of the stuff. My freezer is stocked full of these gorgeous jars, and really, it wasn’t all that hard! It’s a guilt-free dessert for the family (and if you’re saying, “To hell with guilt today”, you can warm it up and dump it on a bit of ice cream. It’s like apple pie, sans crust!)
Be bold. Buy a case of apples. You know you’re going to have to do SOMETHING with that. You can’t ignore a whole case.
But before you do that, visit the work of my fabulous group: My Favorite Bloggers. They have some incredible projects worth seeing.
Kirsten @ One Tough Mother
YUM! I love applesauce but I’ve never made it myself. Thanks for the recipe Tara! This would make a great gift during the holidays, too!
You’re so right – it would make a great gift! I should borrow Amy’s labels and make some for any impromptu gift-giving occasions! 🙂
(p.s. you have to try to make your own applesauce – it’s SO easy!)
Sarah @ Repeat Crafter me
Love this! Apple sauce makes a great substitute for oil in recipes so I like the idea of having some stocked up in my freezer!
Sarah – you’re so right. It’s a great way to make your recipes guilt-free (or at least less-guilty!). It’s awesome to have some in the freezer – it’s always handy!
Tara, I can’t wait to make some applesauce! Thanks for this great post kicking me in the butt! 😀
Says the woman who makes homemade caramel? I don’t know, lady – if you got a kick in the butt, you’d probably end up with your own show on the Food Network! 😉
Now I know what to do when we go apple-picking and come home with a bushel and then think that maybe 3 weeks straight of apple pie might just go to our gut…a little. Freezing is good, less sugar is even better! Squeezing a “u” in there is the funniest thing I’ve read all day. I lived in Montreal for a year, so I get it.
Oh, so you’ve got a teensy little bit of Canadian blood coursing through those veins? Then you understand why I stick errant “u”s in all of my words. I HAVE to do it. It makes me feel strange if I don’t.
Let me know if you do try your own applesauce. It’s such a great snack/dessert to have in the freezer!
amy @ one artsy mama
Mmmm…homemade applesauce is the best. My grandma makes it and it’s 10 times better than storebought!!
Does she stock your freezer with it? You need to slip into her kitchen when she’s cheffing up her applesauce and grab a few of those jars, lady!
Love, love homemade applesauce! I used to make it with my Mom every year. I haven’t tried making it on my own yet…
If I can do it, you can do it, Kadie! I learned how to make it from my mom. She’s the reason I snagged that chinois strainer in the first place!
For real, girl, you’ve gotta have more hours in your day than I seem to! This looks amazing- it would surely be an all week ordeal for me! You are amazing!
That’s so sweet of you, Sky! I don’t think I have any more hours… I’m just good at hiding all of the piles of mess that build up in the corners of the house. 😉 And this only took me a couple of hours – and I frequently abandoned my cooking apples while I did other things. That’s the beauty of cooking the living crap out of something… you can leave it for a long time!
Yum! I love homemade applesauce!
Me too…. a lot! 🙂
How fun, apple season is long off for me 🙂
Yeah – I guess it would be! Tell me – do you pin things in opposite seasons? I imagine you’re heading into Spring now?
You continue with the delicious freezer goodies! Love it!
I love these super-easy freezer preserves! (I do hot-bath canning as well, but freezer canning is SO much easier)
Thanks, Melanie! 🙂
Amy of while wearing heels
What a fun round up of apple themed crafts and recipes. Your applesauce looks delicious. I am impressed with all your canning and jarring skills.
Oh, thank you, Amy! I’m just getting starting in the food-preserving side of life. I had these grand ideas of canning my abundant harvest from my garden.
But my garden has been asserting his personality as of late. He’s in his angsty “I don’t want to” teen years, and I’m afraid for my tomatoes. I might have to buy them this year. Sob.
My whining aside, I love to can! It’s pretty satisfying!
Love making homemade applesauce as it brings back such great memories of picking apples with my kids. Great round up of projects and bloggers! How fun!
We have a small apple tree in our yard, but the trouble is that I never water it. (Whoops!) The apples don’t ever get very big. So we buy them.
Terrible, I know!
I’d love to apple-pick, though. I should make that a goal for the next year. 🙂
What a fun series! Your apple sauce looks delicious!
Thank you, Bethany!
Lauren @ The Thinking Closet
Scrumdiddleeumptious! This sounds amazing. And I’m ashamed to say I’ve never heard of No. 2 produce before…good to know! Oh, and the part of this post that made me chuckle: “Little House in the Suburbs.” Ha ha. You get me every time, Mrs. Suburble. Thanks for the apple-licious inspiration, woman!
I think that it a lot of grocery stores, no.2 produce just ends up being chucked in the bin. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could get it for free! (There is a LOT of waste in produce sections of grocery stores)
I love thinking of myself as a pioneer woman, making her family preserves. (Even though I’m doing it with an electric stove, store-bought jars and often with music blaring in the background)…
Thank you for the great recipe! I found you through Sarah’s blog (Repeat Crafter Me). My family loved helping me make and eat the applesauce!! It’s all gone now 😉
I’m so glad that you liked it! My girls love to help me make applesauce – it’s such a fun family tradition!
Krista @ the happy housie
Love the apple theme – reminds me so much of back-to-school though and I am not quite ready to go there mentally:) Your applesauce looks delish! Glad you clarified about the U in favourite. I was definitely feeling uncomfortable:)
I’ll bet you were feeling uncomfortable – I sure was!
Apples remind me of back to school, too! I don’t know if I’m ready either, and I’m not even going back this September! You’re going back, right? Full day?
Krista @ the happy housie
Full day three days a week, off at 11:30 the other two days- works out well with my youngest in preschool – our parents take him the afternoons I work. And my oldest is at the same school as me, going into grade one. How that happened (grade one) is beyond me. Life moves too fast!
YUM! I’ll have to make a batch when we get back from camping 🙂
Let me know if you do, Cal! It’s really so easy… I should make it throughout the year!
Mmmmm so good. I will be making this ASAP.
Let me know if you do! (Or you can just steal a few jars from my freezer!)
We have limited freezer space, so can this recipe be placed in freezer bags ( in the freezer) or “Hot-bathed” canned and placed on a shelf. And if yes is the storage time the same. I’m a mother of four and work full-time, but always looking for healthy options and long term food storage ideas. Thanks.
Oh yes, this can definitely be put in freezer bags (but I would let the applesauce cool before placing it into Ziploc bags), or it can be hot-bathed as well. Are you a canner?
And I love that despite how busy life is, you’re trying to get good whole food on your kiddos’ plate. It’s such a great way of approaching food!
Hi! I am going to try the applesauce this week! How big are the jars you used? Best way to defrost? How long will they last in the fridge? New to this and want to make sure I do it right!
I used 500 ml (or pint) sized mason jars, and I found that was a good amount to defrost at one time. I sometimes take the jars out and leave them in the fridge to thaw overnight, or if I’m in a hurry, I will take the lids off of the jars and then pop them into the microwave for about 3-4 minutes until the sauce is able to be stirred.
Applesauce doesn’t last more than a few days in our house, because it gets gobbled up by the kids pretty quickly. I don’t know that I’d leave it much more than a week, but if you ask anyone who knows me, you’d know that I’m a bit of a worrywart when it comes to all-things-Foodsafe!
Let me know how your applesauce adventure goes! I’m sure you’ll love it!
I was discussing my upcoming apple sauce adventure and someone asked how I will keep the jars from busting in the freezer??? I had no idea since I am new to this, so thought I better ask you! Is this an issue? Does jar type matter? Any special prep for the jars?
You let the jars cool to room temp on the counter before you pop them in the freezer. Then, you’re golden! It’s the same for freezer jam and various other “freezer canning” recipes. Once the jars have cooled, then they are safe to be transferred into the freezer.
Can’t wait to hear how your batch turns out!
I’m so very lucky to have an apple tree in the garden, even better the apples are eater?cookers called True love. The apples are bright red on the outside but cut them in half and the red flesh has a white heart, when eaters, but are a pale pink when cookers, so have picked them all as they are small this year, and been crumbling/pieing but just made the most amazing pink apple sauce(I add a hint of vanilla with mine) , so very pretty to look at.
Hi Heather! I love the idea of adding vanilla – your apples sound heavenly!