Homemade apple sauce is a favourite snack in our house! We use it for baking, cooking, and snacks. It is the perfect addition to a school lunch which feels like a treat.
I had an abundance of apples after one weekend of apple picking and apple sauce was my main priority the week after. Homemade apple sauce is so easy to make and to can, I honestly think apple sauce was my first thing to can!
Why choose Homemade over Store-Bought?
Less Waste: I can’t tell you how much money we have spent on store-bought apple sauce over the years. The cups, plastic containers, and squeeze tubes filled up our garbage/recycling and are such a waste! Plus I use every piece of the apples. I started canning this homemade apple juice recipe from the water the apples were boiled in, the cores and peels! No waste!
Local and Clean: We don’t know where the apples in store-bought apple sauce come from or how they were grown. Picking our own apples, washing, prepping, cooking, and canning give us a clear mind on what we are feeding to our family. I know where the apples came from, where they were grown, and how they were processed just by spending not even a full day making our own homemade apple sauce.
Teaches Sustainability: I am by no means a prepper but I do love the idea of being more self-sufficient. By learning how to grow, prep, process, and store your own food, you are a little closer to being less reliant on big box stores to provide you with your food.
Save Money: You will most certainly save money on making your homemade apple sauce with your own grown apples, but what about apples bought at a farmer’s market or orchard? Well, it is pretty close, with the cost of apples going up this year it actually broke even if I were to buy store-bought vs making our own. However, since I was able to figure out how to make our own homemade apple juice from the water and discards, we were actually able to SAVE MONEY.
It is my dream to one day have a small little orchard so I don’t have to worry about the math. But to be honest, even if it cost more to make our own homemade apple sauce I still would because it is so fun and rewarding.
Can You Flavour Homemade Apple Sauce?
A big question when canning your own homemade apple sauce is can you make the flavours that the store-bought variety provides? And the short answer is, YES! We made a homemade strawberry apple sauce variety which came out delicious! You can try blueberry, raspberry and even banana! I would stick to tested recipes when it comes to adding in vegetables to ensure you maintain the proper acidity for canning.
What You Need:
- Apple Peeler
- Food Processor
- Canning Kit and Water Bath Canner
- Mason Jars and Lids
- Canning Funnel
- Stock Pot
- 14 pounds apples
- 5 cups water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- sugar (optional)
- cinnamon (optional)
How to Make Homemade Apple Sauce:
- Fill your stock pot just under halfway with water and bring to a boil. Start your water bathing canner at the same time to give time to boil.
- As your water is coming to a boil, wash, peel, core, and slice the apples. If you are using this peeler, it will basically do everything for you! I highly recommend it, it saves so much time!
- Add the cut and peeled apple slices to the boiling water.
- Cook the apples over medium-low heat to soften, about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. After the apples are soft, turn off the heat and let the apples cool.
- Strain out the apples with a slotted spoon or handheld sifter and place in a food processor.
- Run the food processor quickly for 10-20 seconds. Dump the processed apples in a large bowl. Repeat until all the apples have run through the food processor.
- Add your flavour and sweetener to the bowl of blended apples and stir.
- Wash your jars, lids, bands, and canning tools in hot soapy water, and rinse well. Set aside to air dry on a clean kitchen towel.
- Add your jars to the water bath canner. Bring the canner to a simmer (180˚F) for 10 minutes, and keep the jars hot until you are ready to fill them
- Lay a kitchen towel on the counter. Use your jar lifter to remove a jar from the canner, drain, and place it on the towel. Keep the remaining jars in the canner, so they stay hot.
- Using a ladle and funnel, add the applesauce to your warm jars leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.
- Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp towel. Center a lid on the jar, and screw on the band until it is fingertip tight. Do NOT overtighten.
- Use the jar lifter to place the full jars back into the canner, and repeat with the remaining jars. Try to leave some space in between the jars.
- Once the jars are all in the canner, adjust the water level so it is at least two inches above the jar tops.
- Cover the canner and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Once the water boils continue boiling pints for 15 minutes at altitudes of less than 6,000 ft. Adjust processing time for your altitude if necessary (see notes).
- When the processing time is complete, turn off the heat, remove the cover, and let the canner cool down and settle for about 5 minutes.
- Lay a dry kitchen towel on the counter and begin removing the jars carefully from the canner, placing them on the towel. Leave about 1-inch in between jars. Keep the jars upright, and don’t tighten bands or check the seals yet. Let the jars sit undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours to cool completely.
- After the jars have cooled for at least 12 hours, check to be sure jar lids have sealed by pushing on the center of the lid. The lid should not pop up. If the lid pops up and down, it did not seal. Refrigerate the applesauce and use it within a week.
- Remove the bands and wash the jars well with warm soapy water to remove any residue. Label, date, and store in a cool, dark place. Use within 12 to 18 months. Refrigerate the applesauce once opened and consume it within a week.
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- Prepare the Star Anise: Ensure that you have as many full anise stars as possible. If needed, use some that only have a few points that are missing.
- Create a Wreath Base: Take the floral wire and shape it into a circle to form the base of your wreath. You can determine the size of the wreath by bending and shaping the wire accordingly. Wrap the wire around a few times to create a strong base.
- Attach the Star Anise: Using the hot glue gun, apply a small amount of hot glue to the back of each star anise. Press the glued side of the star anise onto the floral wire wreath base. Continue attaching star anise around the entire hoop, positioning them closely together as you go.
- Build Layers: For a fuller anise star wreath, you can create multiple layers. Simply glue a second layer on top of the first, slightly offsetting the placement to create depth.
- Add Ribbon: Cut a length of ribbon to create a bow or a loop for hanging on the wall or Christmas tree. Attach the ribbon to the top of the wreath using hot glue. If you’re making a bow, you can also attach it to the bottom center of the wreath.
- Secure and Reinforce: Ensure that all the star anise are securely attached to the wreath base. If needed, add extra glue to reinforce any loose pieces.
- Allow to Dry: Let the wreath dry completely before handling or hanging it.
- Hang and Display: Once the wreath is dry, you can hang it on your door, wall, or use it as a decorative element in your home.