Back when I was an ambitious young mother with lots of energy, I used to can applesauce. My mother-in-law would come to help, bringing along her special apple-peeling and mashing tool that looked kind of like an old fashioned meat grinder that we would attach to the edge of the kitchen table. I don’t remember many of the details anymore, but I do remember it took us most of the day and I would end up with many quarts of applesauce that would last us most of the winter. It was good stuff.
But now things have changed. For one thing I guess I’m just not that young and ambitious anymore (yup, that happens!) I also don’t have little ones to feed and it would take me and Hubby a looooong time to use up those dozens of quarts of applesauce lining my shelves like in the good old days.
So does that mean I never get to have a yummy bowl of homemade applesauce anymore? The happy answer is that homemade applesauce is still an option – I just use the microwave now and make a much smaller batch.
It’s good to remember that if you have apples in the house, you can make your own applesauce! And it’s not a thin runny consistency like the store bought stuff either. I like to think of this as a “grown up” applesauce with a thicker chunkier texture that you can sweeten and flavor as you like. And using the microwave speeds up the process too. In fact the longer time spent making this recipe is probably in the peeling and slicing of the apples.
The homemade applesauce recipe below uses five apples, but of course you could use a few more or less apples to fit your needs. It’s also a good way to use up those apples that aren’t quite so crisp and fresh anymore. Here’s how to do it:
Homemade Microwave Applesauce
5 medium sized apples (I use Gala apples)
1/4 cup water
Brown sugar (optional)
1. The first thing to do is peel, core, and slice or chop the apples into smaller pieces. Having the apples in kind of smallish pieces helps when it comes time to mash them up later on in the process. Removing the peels is also recommended for easier mashing.
2. Place the apple pieces in a microwave safe bowl (I use a glass mixing bowl). Pour the 1/4 cup of water over the apple pieces in the bowl.
3. Cover the bowl (I use wax paper for this) and put in the microwave.
4. Cook for 3 minutes, stir, 3 more minutes, stir, and then for a final 3 minutes. (for a total of 9 minutes of cook time). Remove from the microwave.
5. Now it’s time to mash up the cooked, softened apples. A potato masher is a good tool for this step. If you don’t have a a potato masher, just a fork will work too. You’ll want to spend a couple minutes on this step, mashing things around in the bowl and getting it to start looking more like applesauce. A food processor can be used too as a final way to mash things a little more, but this is a wet, heavy mixture that really doesn’t spin around much. A blender might be an option as well. Just don’t drive yourself crazy trying to get rid of every last chunk. A few chunks give this mixture a wonderful texture.
The five apples used in this recipe result in a generous cup of applesauce.
6. Finally, you can decide if you want to leave the applesauce just as it is with nothing else added – OR – you can stir in a small spoonful or two of brown sugar and/or a sprinkling of cinnamon. I personally think the brown sugar and cinnamon give this homemade applesauce a delicious little boost of flavor!