The Reason Your Homemade Canned Applesauce Is Separating

Opened glass jar of applesauce with spoon
Opened glass jar of applesauce with spoon - Rimma Bondarenko/Shutterstock

Not everyone is a fan of applesauce, but, if you're someone who enjoys the tasty tanginess and smooth texture of this fruit purée, you're in for a treat. Making applesauce at home is super simple. Plus, you can preserve it by canning and keep it in your pantry for up to a year. Now, here's the thing. If you've ever canned your own applesauce, you might have noticed that, sometimes, there's a layer of liquid at the bottom of the jar when you open it. Don't fret! You didn't mess up the canning process, and the applesauce is still perfectly safe to eat.

This separation occurs when you have too much liquid in the sauce. Eventually, all that extra liquid is going to separate and pool at the bottom. There are two potential explanations for this: One, you've added a bit too much water when you made the applesauce, or, two, the apples you used had a high water content, like early season fruits or especially juicy varieties like Granny Smith apples. As we mentioned earlier, it's not a sign that your applesauce has gone bad. Just give it a good stir, and that liquid will blend back in. Your applesauce will look as right as rain in no time!

Read more: 13 Simple Tricks To Pick The Best Fresh Fruit Every Time

How To Minimize Separation When Making Applesauce

Bowl of applesauce with whole red apples
Bowl of applesauce with whole red apples - PHILIPIMAGE/Shutterstock

Although separated applesauce might not be a major concern, you'd still probably prefer it to be wonderfully smooth and consistent. The good news is that achieving this is quite simple. The key is to make your applesauce thicker and reduce its juice content to avoid any unpleasant, gel-like surprises at the bottom of your container. Instead of reaching for the juicy Granny Smith, Fuji, or Honeycrisp apples, consider opting for apple varieties like Rome Beauty, which contain less juice.

Also, keep an eye on the liquid you add while cooking. A good rule of thumb is to avoid going beyond a cup of liquid and to add just enough to keep the applesauce cooking smoothly. A nifty method shared on Ask Extension by Nellie Oehler, a food safety specialist at Oregon State University, is to pop your sliced apples into a microwave-safe bowl and zap them on the high power setting for about 15 minutes. With this technique, there's no need to add extra juice since the apples come with their own built-in moisture.

Then, once your apples are done cooking, you can effortlessly transform them into applesauce. If you haven't peeled the apples, use a food mill. If you've already peeled them, simply stir the slices into a deliciously thick sauce that won't separate no matter how long you keep it in the can. All that's left to do is add flavoring and sugar to your applesauce (or honey and possibly even some booze), and then you can either can your creation or tuck right in!

Read the original article on Tasting Table.