Homemade applesauce and apple butter: The secrets to preserving apples for months to come

MILWAUKEE -- It's so sweet, you just shovel it in by the spoonful! But you don't have to eat it all at once. Our master preserver, Christina Ward, joins Real Milwaukee to teach us how to make applesauce and apple butter.

(Strawberry Applesauce, Maple Applesauce)
15 cups mixed sweet and tart apples (approximately 5 pounds)
1/2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup lemon juice

    The sweetening of applesauce can be omitted or substituted with honey or maple syrup. Splenda is also acceptable.

    Prior to the final cooking, add in a pureed fruit for a blended taste. Try strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.

    Crock Pot Apple Butter

    Note: Apple butter uses a long, slow cook time to evaporate moisture and reduce overall water activity. A slow cooker can be replaced with an oven-roasting pan and cooked in a 200-degree oven.
    Traditionally, windfalls and bruised apples are used in apple butter. Remove any blemishes before adding to the mixture.

    8 pounds apples (About 25-30 apples. Use a mixture of varieties for a complex flavor.)
    1 cup apple juice, cider, or water.
    1 cup apple cider vinegar
    4 cups brown sugar
    4 Tablespoons cinnamon

      *How to test for doneness: Take a teaspoon of apple butter and place onto small plate. Let cool. The apple butter should remain intact; if a pool of liquid forms around the mound, then more cooking is required.

      A butter can be made from pears, peaches, and plums. Fruits in the Rosacea and stone fruit families are good candidates for fruit butters.

      A faux pumpkin butter can be made by adding dehydrated pumpkin powder to apple butter. This is a great work-around for the fact that home food preservationists cannot safely can pureed pumpkin butter.