As a kid, I remember August and September being busy helping my mom and grandma put up fruit. Our basement was filled with jars of peaches, cherries and pears. I will admit to just being too lazy to do lots of canning, but I make an exception for homemade applesauce.
As with just about anything homemade (and made with homegrown items)--its going to taste better than anything at the grocery store. The grocery store varieties are just too sweet or too much like baby food for my taste. Applesauce is very easy, and pretty fool-proof. Its even easier if you have a food mill, so that you don't have to peel the apples.
You will need:
Apples (I had 1/2 bushel of Ginger Gold-a sweet and spicy soft apple, terrible for eating, wonderful for sauce--I get them from my favorite vendor at the farmer's market)
Jars with lids and bands
Since I use a food mill, I won't be peeling my apples, so I wash them in the sink. Next, I cut the apples up using one of those apple cutters. I put all the pieces, including the core into a large stockpot with about 1/2 cup of water. Cover with a lid and simmer until the apples are soft (about 20 minutes)--you will need a big spoon to try and rotate the apples from the top to the bottom at least once.
Dump the soft apples into the top of the food mill and crank it out. I use a large cake pan to collect the sauce. Don't worry if the first bit looks a bit runny, once you have all the pulp through you can stir it up. I run the "garbage" peels etc...3 or 4 more times to get all the goodness out that I can. I do not add anything to my applesauce--but some folks like sugar or cinnamon.
In my sterilized jars, I add the warm applesauce and leave about 3/4" of space. Put on the lid and screw on the band. I used my steam canner, bringing the batch up to full steam then timing it for 25 minutes.
I'm told you can freeze applesauce instead of processing it, but my freezer was kinda full...and I do like seeing the pretty jars in my storage room. Even if you don't want to make a giant batch, make a small batch and serve it warm in a bowl like you would oatmeal (pour on some half and half, brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans)--yeah, good stuff.