This yummy treat is more of a dessert than a fruit, but waaaay less sugar (than most desserts).
The not-so-secret ingredient? Strawberries! They add their own natural sweetness, and boast an attractive rose color. This deliciously sweet concoction will change how you think of applesauce.
Across much of the northern U.S., apple harvest has been in full swing for the last couple months. It is getting late in the season now, but if you haven’t made it out to an orchard, consider squeezing in a trip. Taking the kiddos to an orchard or pumpkin patch is one of my favorite fall experiences. Bryan and I started a small orchard of our own, which is where we get our apples, but we still love to visit others. 🙂
If you’re at an orchard and not sure which variety of apples to get, check with the workers or owners, they know their apples best. There are literally thousands of apple varieties around the world, but don’t be intimidated and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Here’s a quick list to get you started:
- Baking (pies): McIntosh, Crispin, Granny Smith, Empire, Golden Delicious, Macoun, Jazz, Ambrosia, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Rome, Jonagold
- Eating Fresh: McIntosh, Red Delicious, Gala, Crispin, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Empire, Cameo, Macoun, Jazz, Ambrosia, Paula red, Cortland
- Cooking (Applesauce): McIntosh, Crispin, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Empire, Paula red, Braeburn, Cortland, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Liberty, Rome
Now let’s bite into our applesauce recipe. When making this with kids, I highly recommend using an apple peeler/corer/slicer. It’s fun, it reduces waste, and its sooo much faster than hand peeling! Our boys are still a bit young for the apple peeler/corer/slicer, but Lily really enjoyed her first time using it this year.
AGE APPROPRIATE COOKING TASKS
Every child’s ability varies depending on maturity or cognitive and physical ability. Parents need to use their own discretion when assigning tasks. These are general guidelines for the Strawberry Applesauce.
18 months – 3 years old:
- Wash apples
- Name and count ingredients with child
- Scoop ingredients into stockpot, before cooking
Ages 3 – 5 years old
- All of tasks from younger than 3 years old
- Use apple peeler/corer/slicer with supervision
- Measure and count ingredients
Ages 6 – 7 years old
- All of the younger tasks
- Peel apple, if decide not to use an apple peeler/corer/slicer
Ages 8 – 9 years old
- All of the younger tasks
Age 10 – 12 years old
- Should be able to complete all tasks to this recipe with adult supervision
How to finish the sauce…
Freezing it –
This step is pretty simple. Scoop the applesauce in freezable, airtight containers. Leave about a 1-inch space on the top for expanding. Make sure the lid is on tight. Label it (type and date) and you are done! Applesauce will keep in a deep freeze freezer (0°F or colder) for up to 1 year.
Canning it –
This option takes a little longer, but it doesn’t hog the freezer space, which is awesome since our freezer is usually full of garden produce and venison.
- Preheat oven to 250F
- Place jar lids in boiling water for 2 minutes. Make sure they are completely submerged under water.
- Scoop applesauce into sterilized jars. I use a funnel to ensure it gets into the jars.
- Immediate after adding applesauce to jar, wipe the rim of the jar clean with a dry paper towel to ensure a secure seal. Remove lid from boiling water (I use a magnetic lid lifter) and quickly dry on a clean paper towel. Place lid on jar and secure with a jar ring. Fasten tightly.
- Repeat until all jars are filled and lids securely fastened.
- Place jars on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off, but do not open the oven door. Let sit in the oven overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.
To get started, here is a list of supplies you will need:
- Wash everyone’s hands!
- Clean all work surfaces before starting.
- Leave tasting until the end. Your child(ren) might not understand the difference between a ready-to-eat ingredient and a raw unsafe ingredient.
- It is okay for your kitchen to get a little messy.
- Keep in mind that your child is learning, so patience is key!
Sweet Strawberry Applesauce for Freezing or Canning
- 10 cups apples peeled, cored
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Wash apples before starting.
- Peel, core and slice apples. To do this, we use an apple peeler/slicer/corer. It takes a fraction of the time and is great fun for the kiddos.
- Place apples, strawberries and water in large stockpot and put on medium heat. Once the apples start to break down, I will take a potato masher to help break down the apples and berries. This can take around 30 minutes, give or take 5 minutes.
- Once the apples and berries have reached a thick and chunky applesauce consistency, I use a hand blender to reach my desired smooth consistency. You could also use a food mill, potato masher or if you prefer a chunky sauce, leave it as is.
- Add sugar to sauce and return to until it almost reaches a boil. You are now ready to freeze, can or serve. If serving, let cook at least 20 minutes. For freezing and canning, see directions in blog.