Homemade canned applesauce just got better with the addition of mango.
Have you gone shopping for applesauce lately? It comes it all kinds of flavors now, but almost all of it is full of high fructose corn syrup, additives, and preservatives. Why take something as simple and wholesome as applesauce and fill it full of unnecessary ingredients? I don’t get it. But luckily, applesauce is probably the easiest thing in the world to can at home.
I have purchased three boxes of apples from a friendly local farmer over the past few weeks. The kids have been happy to help me eat most of them, but some went into jars of homemade cranberry-applesauce and mango-applesauce. You can find the Cranberry-Applesauce recipe in my Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen book, along with lots of other good ideas for gift-giving. The mango-applesauce recipe is below. As you can see, I used two different kinds of apples and didn’t peel them. Both of these options are personal preference. I find that using at least two different kinds of apples gives the sauce more flavor. But I am one of those people who likes variety. I prefer red wine blends over a Merlot or Syrah and give me a bowl of vegetable soup over cream of anything any day!
- 10 large apples
- 1-2 large mangoes
- ¼ cup honey (optional)
- Core the apples. Peel if desired.
- Peel mango and cut into bite sized pieces.
- Cut apples into bite sized pieces.
- Add apples and mango to a large pot or Dutch oven. Add just enough water to keep fruit from sticking.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft.
- Transfer cooked fruit to a blender, food processor, or food mill.
- Process to desired consistency.
- Return to Dutch oven. Taste pureed fruit.
- Add honey if desired. Stir to mix well.
- Ladle hot sauce into pint jars.
- Cover with two-piece lids and process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.
- Remove from canner and let cool overnight.
I like to leave the peel on the apples for the extra nutrients, but sometimes it makes the sauce a bit bitter. Thus the addition of honey. Be sure to taste your sauce before adding any additional sweetener. Most apples are plenty sweet all on their own and can be safely and deliciously canned unsweetened. And if you do add sweetener, at least YOU are in control of how much to add.
Also, keep in mind that if you cook your apples slowly for a long period of time, or if you add cinnamon (yumm), your applesauce will most likely be brown. There are several reasons for this; cinnamon colors the applesauce, long cooking carmelizes the natural sugars, and there are no chemical additives to bleach out your sauce (why would anyone want to eat bleach). Brown applesauce is good applesauce. A shorter cooking period, like in this recipe, still results in a lighter colored sauce.
What delicious apple-fruit sauce combinations have you made? Which is your favorite?