First peel, core, and cut your apples into slices. (An apple peeler/corer/slicer may come in handy for this part, but you can do it by hand.)
Place apple slices in a large pot and add 1 cup of water. Cook the apples over medium heat, stirring often, until tender. Mash the apples with a potato masher. If you want an even smoother consistency, puree them in a blender.
At this point you can add a little extra water if you need to, depending on how thick or thin you want your applesauce. I like to reach the consistency of slightly runny pudding.
You can also add sugar at this point, depending on how sweet you want your applesauce. Add a little at a time and taste it until it's how you like.
The applesauce will also sweeten over time, in the jars, so keep that in mind when adding sugar. I use white granulated sugar because brown sugar makes the applesauce dark, but either will work.
Sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy warm or cold! Store in the fridge for up to 7-10 days.
How to Can Applesauce (see note for amount):
Make sure everything is sterilized! (I usually run the jars and lid rings through the dishwasher before I begin). You will need NEW lids, clean rings, equipment, countertops and workspace.
Fill sterilized quart jars with applesauce, leaving 1/2'' of headspace. Use a small rubber spatula to scrape down the inside of the jar and remove any air bubbles. Wipe jar rims clean. Don't skip this step! Place lids and rings securely on the jars.
Canned applesauce is good for up to one year when stored in a cool, dark place.
For canned applesauce: This recipe makes about 1.5 quart jars of applesauce. To make one batch for canning (6 quart jars), use about 12 pounds of apples.Variations:
Applesauce for Baby: When making applesauce for a baby, I recommend completely cutting out the added sugar (apples are naturally very sweet). If you choose to use sugar, just add a teaspoon or two for a less sugar option.
Unsweetened Applesauce: Simply leave out the sugar!
Cinnamon Applesauce Recipe: Add ground cinnamon to the homemade applesauce!
Slow Cooker Applesauce: Add the peeled and sliced apples to your slow cooker. Toss in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and sprinkle with some cinnamon (no water needed)! Cook on LOW for 4 hours. Pour into blender and blend until smooth, or desired consistency.