Now that it is autumn and apple season is at its peak, you might be tempted to buy apples by the bushel from your local grocery store. While this may be a great way to save some money by buying in bulk, you may end up with more apples than you and your family can eat before they go bad.
What are you to do then when you have an overabundance of apples that are fast approaching their end of freshness? Try making your own applesauce and apple butter, of course!
Both are easy to make at can be stored to use later throughout the year.
Applesauce and apple butter are easy to can and preserve which allows you to store them for up to year without taking up precious space in your fridge or freezer. As an added bonus, your homemade versions will be healthier and tastier than the mass-produced and processed versions you often find at the grocery store.
You can customize your apple preserves to your personal taste and you always know exactly what ingredients go into every jar.
Ready to give it a try? Here are quick, tasty recipes for making your own applesauce or apple butter at home.
Homemade Apple Sauce
- 8 medium apples
- 1.5 cups of water
- ½ cup of sugar (adjust as needed)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- Start by washing, peeling and coring your apples. Chop them into bite-sized chunks and add them to a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients.
- The sugar is variable. Start by adding half of it, unless you’re dealing with tart apples. Taste your apple sauce and add more towards the end. The cinnamon is optional. If you like cinnamon in your applesauce, add it, if not, feel free to leave it out. Of course you can also use more or less according to taste.
- Bring the apple mixture to a simmer and cook covered on medium heat until the apples are soft. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of your chunks and the apple variety.
- Mash it into apple sauce with a potato masher, a fork, or an immersion blender.
Homemade Apple Butter
*Apple butter cooks best slow over low heat. The easiest way to prepare it is in the slow cooker.
- 4 pounds of apples
- 3 cups of sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Pinch of salt
- Start by peeling, coring and chopping your apples and placing them in the slow cooker.
- Mix the sugar, salt and spices and pour them over the apples. Put the lid on and cook the mixture on high for one hour.
- Turn the slow cooker to low and cook it an additional 10 hours. Stir it occasionally. Your apple butter is ready when it is brown and starts to thicken.
When you are done cooking you can place your butter or applesauce in preserve jars and save for later.
So don’t throw out those apples. Turn them into a healthy and tasty treat before they end up in your garbage can and enjoy a taste of fall all year round.