For some crazy reason, I decided I wanted to make homemade apple sauce. It was a bigger project than I had anticipated. Wow. I spend hours in the kitchen cutting apples until I couldn’t feel my fingers. I created a ridiculous mess on my stove top from apples boiling over. I spent $50 on apples in bulk. I ended up with what equated to 23 quarts of apple sauce that is better than anything I’ve ever bought in the store and healthier. I’m not sure if I’d do it again, but I’m happy that I did do it.
As an overall summary, I used this recipe (I heart pickyourown.org). Of course, I did my own little tweaks, the biggest one being using my Vitamix. I can’t imagine how much more time I would have spent without that thing!
So here’s how we made sugar-free applesauce from scratch using our Vitamix.
Step 1: Get the apples.
Here’s the first thing I would have changed–less apples! We went to a fruit stand (on what locals call “The Fruit Highway” around these parts) and I bought 4 half-bushes of apples, totaling just shy of $50. For non-apple experts, that’s somewhere around 80 lbs of apples. Sure, I got a great deal by buying them in bulk, but it also meant a lot more money and a lot more expense. Next time, I won’t do so much at once.
The reason why I bought 2 bushels is because it’s best to have a mix of apples if you’re making sugar-free applesauce. Since they came in half-bushes and I wanted at least 4 kinds, I ended up buying 2 bushels. I used Jonathon, Gala, Ozark Golden, Red delicious (though I only used about 2/3 of the half bushel for the last one because the check out guy at the fruit stand told me to). I am so incredibly happy with this mixture too. As I tasted each of the apple sauces as I went along I thought “that could make good apple sauce on it’s own!” When I tasted them all mixed together, I was blown away.
Step 2: Wash the apples.
Step 3: Cut the apples.
For some reason, though this was by far the longest step, I didn’t take a picture. You can kind of see what’s going on behind Peanut on the cutting counter.
This is where my plan deviated from the Pick Your Own recipe. Since I was using the Vitamix rather than a sieve, I didn’t want to keep the cores. I see the point if you’re using a sieve because then you get every bit of flesh you possibly can. I started off using my apple corer, but of course that broke about half a dozen apples in. Worked out better in the end though because I didn’t waste as much apple. I just cut out the seedy parts, leaving as much as possible.
Step 4: Cook the apples.
Step 5: Put the apples into a strainer to get the excess liquid off.
Step 6: Put the apples (including skins) in the Vitamix.
Step 7: Blend them up!
Be generous with the tamper and make sure all the apples get blended. Be careful to run it as little as possible so you don’t overheat it (which I did, luckily it was on the very last batch).
Step 8: Pour it into a bowl, keeping each type of apple separate. Keep repeating until all of your apples are into sauce.
Step 9: Make a rainbow!
Step 10: Add cinnamon to taste and stir CONSTANTLY until heated through.
Step 11: Put into cans and process.