Appalachian Food

Making Applesauce

How to make applesauce
Yesterday me and Granny went and got a few bushels of our favorite kind of apples-the FREE kind. One of Pap and Granny’s old friends has a small apple orchard. He used to sell to the general public but as he’s gotten up in years he isn’t able to take care of the trees like he once did.

The Blind Pig family loves applesauce. We love it with biscuits, we love it with porkchops, we love it with pinto beans and cornbread. And the girls love it straight out of the jar. Most older folks in my area-including Pap and Granny call it fruit instead of applesauce. Like: “I made some fresh fruit to go with supper you ought to come eat.”

Applesauce is easy to make-actually for some reason it seems easier than jelly to me.

First-wash your apples. You don’t have to worry about peeling them. Most folks core the apple with a handy dandy corer.

Miss Cindy taught me-that if you get the little blossom like end off before you quarter the apples-you don’t have to worry about coring them-if you have super nice apples. Some of mine were a little iffy.

After you core the apple-or remove the blossom end-cut the apple into quarters (cut away any bad places you may find in the apple)-place apples in a stock pot-add water and cook till soft.

Once the apples are soft-drain all the water out of them. Next-place apples in a food mill or a ricer too press out the applesauce-leaving the peelings, seeds, and stems inside the mill or ricer.

When I first learned how to make applesauce I used a food mill-but have discovered I like the ricer much better-you can see how easily the applesauce flows through.

Once you’ve put all your apples through the ricer/food mill put the applesauce into a stockpot-adding sugar to taste and heat thoroughly. While it’s heating-you can be sterilizing your canning jars.

How to can applesauce
Place hot applesauce into the hot jars-adding the lids and rings. Cook in a waterbath canner for 20 minutes.

Just out of curiosity-I got my ball canning book out to see their recipe for applesauce. I notice they say to peel the apples. Everyone I know leaves the peelings on-Granny always said by leaving the peelings on-it saves time-and you get every little drop of applesauce goodness out.

Do you leave your peelings on? What’s your favorite way to eat applesauce?



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  • Reply
    September 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    It is applesauce makin’ time. Looking forward to getting our shelves filled. Dirt eats applesauce with nearly every meal.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Tipper!
    We leave the peels on too…and always mix a few different kinds of apples. We have a small orchard here so our supply allows us to make applessauce and applebutter. Love this site!

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    September 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Tipper: Fresh applesause is so good and good for you. I love to have it with pork chops.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Tipper yours looks really delish!
    I love fresh applesauce over pancakes!We were in the mountains this past week and everyone had apples for sale ! I thought about getting some winesaps for applesauce but instead just got a basket of Galas to eat. I’m just now recovering from my summer canning and still have a gallon of peach juice and a gallon of muscadine juice in the freezer that has to be made into jelly. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 25, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Wow, did this bring back memories. I did not remember until I read this that Mama used to serve applesauce with pork chops or pork roast. I hope someone lets me pick some free apples I will try my had at apple sauce. The red hots sound good too!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I like applesauce on biscuits, just by itself or on the side of my supper plate.
    I wish I had some apple trees so I could make homemade applesauce.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Barbara-great comment! I’ve only read about ‘stack of arrangements’ never eaten one or even seen one. But it sounds quite tasty : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    September 25, 2010 at 7:18 am

    We have been working up apples here too. I think my mom and sister are trying to use them all up before they go bad by making pies and apple crisps. I need to get the ricer out so I can have some to enjoy later!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Tipper, you make this sound so good I wish I could make some fresh applesauce.
    Anything fresh like that is better than what i buy at the store.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I hope I get some “free” apples this year. Usually a coworker gives me some.
    I love, love applesauce on a slice of fresh white bread.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    September 24, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I peel them because that’s the way I learned. But I may try it your way! And I really want to try it with pears — we have an abundance of Kieffer pears this year.
    My favorite way of eating applesauce is with heavy cream on top.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    My brother and sister and I grew up helping Mama make her yummy homemade applesauce. She always added cinnamon and perhaps a pinch of cloves. When we got a little older we kept from getting bored while we peeled the apples, by starting at one end and trying not to let the peel break. Then we twirled it around our heads and tossed it over our left shoulders. It was supposed to give us the first letter of the name of the person we were going to marry.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    We made 15 quarts of applesauce a few weeks ago… Used honeycrisp and granny smith apples mixed… we do peel ours, but we make it chunky, by just mashing them while they’re cooking with the spoon. We only add some lemon juice to each batch.

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    September 24, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    tipper: two or three big pancakes, with about six pats of sweet cream butter, then a half pint of fresh hot apple sauce. boy is that the way to start a fall day. man did that make me hungry. k.o.h

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Girl, you shore know how to bring
    in the thoughts of autumn. I never
    made any, but my mama did all this
    in late summer. All I had to do was pick ’em and bring them in. I
    think the way I eat applesauce is
    with a ‘big’ spoon…another nice
    blog today…Ken

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    September 24, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I’m glad you were able to get apples and make sauce. I love applesauce. We used to make it a lot. We don’t make it much now, but homemake apple sauce sure is good. I just love it with fresh baked biscuits.

  • Reply
    Wanda in NoAla
    September 24, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I would love to have a friend with free apples!

  • Reply
    barbara gantt
    September 24, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    we make a lot of applesauce. I have done it both ways. If I am making apple jelly, then I peel. My Mom, age 86, calls it fruit too. She will ask for fruit pies. Have you ever hear of a stack of arrangements? My Granny made these. You take cold biscuits, slice them and later the apple sauce between them. Put them in a pyrex dish and heat. Top with whipping cream. She said that is how they used up leftover biscuits during apple season. I believe that there is a simailar recipe in one of the Foxfire books. I also can apple slices for pies. Barbara

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Oh, this makes my mouth water! Fresh apples are the best part of fall!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I’m wondering about the sugar content. The canning recipes always direct us to add so much sugar. Wondering how much you added & if you think not adding as much as the recipe calls for will matter long term. I think I may do a little experimenting with this.

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    September 24, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Never made applesauce but I’m really good at eating other peoples’! Can’t wait for the fried pie instructions. Now that’s a real favorite!

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    September 24, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Tipper I also leave my peelings on and I run mine through a ricer. I got mine done a couple weeks ago. My youngest daughter used to love red hot candies. So every year I would drop a couple red hot candies in a couple jars of applesauce for her. She still wants redhots in hers ( :

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I cooked up 25 lbs. yesterday in the hopes of making quarts and quarts of apple juice. Much to my chagrin – i ended up with only 4 qts of juice and a bazillion pints of applesauce! I learned a good lesson the hard way that a cider press is the only way to get apple juice!!! It was a lot of hard work – but we are all set for applesauce for a long long time!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Vera Guthrie
    September 24, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I have never made applesauce but I will next year! I love it with anything. You can also bake with it to replace the fat in cooking oil. If you recipe calls for 1/3 cup oil use applesauce it is wonderful!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Sounds good, Tipper. Now if you just add some cinnamon red hots, a little vinegar and cinnamon oil you would have some good apple butter to can. I love apple butter with my beans and cornbread. I like spreading applesauce on toast and sprinkling cinnamon on it.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Hey Tipper!
    I’m back to blogging if you care to visit. I re-opened my private blog and transfered all the little bits and pieces of blogs onto it.
    I recently made some crock-pot apple butter that was YUMMY!
    I’m glad to catch up with you today…I saw on Rose Mary’s blog where she won a give-away from you!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 24, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Tipper–We always peeled the apples, and I have fond memories of sitting on the back porch in the cool of the evening working up apples for canning. However, Mom took a different approach from yours, and it offset the extra work in peeling by avoiding the “work up” for sauce.
    We simply peeled the apples (it was always fun to see if you could keep the strand of peel going for the entire apple), quartered them, removed the seed core in the middle, and put the finished quarters in a big dish pan or wash tub which held slightly salted water. This kept the apples from turning brown.
    Once a batch was finished, and we usually worked up two or three bushels at a time, with Red and Golden Delicious being our two mainstays, since that’s what Daddy grew in his little orchard, it was time for canning.
    Mom would rinse the apples and cook them in one or more big containers, adding a bit of sugar. She may have also added a tetch of water, although I don’t remember that. When the apples were cooked they would be somewhere between apple sauce and the kind of candied apples you get in restaurants. She then canned them in quart jars. Her goal was 200 quarts a year. That’s a bunch of apples, but we went through them like nobody’s business.
    My favorite way to eat them was hot with a slab of butter placed in them to melt, followed by some milk or cream over the “buttered” apples.
    We didn’t call it fruit. We called it canned apples, and it was a mainstay on our family table. Daddy only had eight or ten trees, but most years they produced far more apples than we needed.
    Of course, in addition to canning them, a lot of the crop went into dried apples. We worked them up the same way as noted above, with the notable difference of cutting the quarters into much smaller slices. These would be dried atop cheese cloth on a tin roof or old screens set out in the sun. A bit of sulphur avoided browning, but I’m probably intruding on your next blog on fried pies, so I’ll await it with eagerness. In my view, a properly made fried pie, hot and slathered with real butter, is about as close to culinary heaven as a country boy is likely to come.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    September 24, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I am going to be making my applesauce this week end and the coming week .. I make lots, so it goes on over several days. I usually mix 2 different types of apples (leaving the peels on), and we eat it anytime with any meal or even as a snack. Being as I have an overabundance of raspberries, sometimes I even throw a handful, or two, of those into a batch and the results are oh so yummy! Whenever anyone comes over to eat, the first thing they ask is, “Are we having raspberry applesauce with the meal?”

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    September 24, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I also meant to add that apple jelly was made from the peelings as well…
    Mom always wondered when she was growing up how many little wormies went into that big pot of the misshapen or (bad) apples that was used for applesauce.LOL..and when you see a big pot of peelings cooking down, they don’t look too appetitizing all curled up…LOL

  • Reply
    Melissa P
    September 24, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Whoever heard of peeling the apples first? I also had kin who used to add some of those red hots in when they were making their fruit. Made it all pink and gave it flavor kinda like candy apples. I may try that this year.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 8:48 am

    this is easy enough even I the non cooking person could do it. and why take the peelings off when you don’t have to. it looks delicious to me and I like applesauce out of the jar, but i have to buy mine.
    i just listened to down to the river to pray and totaly love it. If i can find it i would like to borrow from you and post it on my blog.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I bet your kitchen smelled so good with the apples cooking! Not having access to fresh apples around here I usually make pear sauce every year. Hubby’s dad has a pear tree (hard pineapple pears) and they make excellent sauce and pie filling.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 8:25 am

    A ricer! Brilliant. Can’t wait to try that this year. I remove the peels and then make apple jelly with them. Have a great weekend, Tipper!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Looks wonderful. The ricer makes it so much easier! Great idea! Looking forward to some fried pies!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    September 24, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Being from the waste not want not Applachian heritage….Applesauce was an afterthought….
    My family always peeled the apples to dry them…
    Then the peelings were used to cook down and strain out for applesauce and apple butter…
    Hardly ever used a good whole drying apple for applesauce…LOL
    But when I started making applesauce I use the whole apple..just slice it..pit it out, spot it out, cook and strain out…then on like you do…same thing with peaches except we didn’t dry peaches..canned, saved the good skins for cooking peach butter…I’d love to have a good ole piece of buttered cinnamon toast and a bowl of homemade applesauce..for breakfast…LOL

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