Homemade Applesauce

In the fall, when you get a good haul of apples, it’s time to make applesauce!

Slow cooked apples practically melt into a sauce, becoming even smoother with a run through a food mill.  If you don’t have a food mill or prefer your applesauce chunky you can simply keep mashing the apples against the side of the pot as you cook them down.  There will likely still be little bits of small apple chunks in the sauce.  Chunky applesauce is some people’s jam (no pun intended), so decide for yourself!

How to Make Applesauce

Cinnamon in Applesauce

The cinnamon is optional and some people love it and others like the purity of the taste of apples without added spice.  I think a hint of cinnamon is the perfect amount, but you can raise the amount to 1 teaspoon, or omit it altogether.

What is the Difference Between Applesauce and Apple Butter

It’s mostly about the consistency, and a little bit about the sweetness.  Apple butter is often sweeter, and cooked for longer to reduce down to a thicker consistency.  Applesauce is looser, and usually a bit less sweet and often less spiked with warm spices than apple butter, which tends to be a bit more intense in flavor.

How to Make Applesauce

Unsweetened Applesauce

If you want to skip the sugar altogether you will have a very soft, natural tasting applesauce.  Sometimes this is desirable when you are serving it with a savory food, like pork chops, or if you are looking to cut back on added sugar in your diet.

Best Apples for Applesauce

Any apples can be made into applesauce, but firmer apples will take longer to reach a fall apart consistency.  It’s also worth noting that apples that may have passed their best eating moment, that are a little bit soft, will make excellent applesauce.

How to Cook Apples

Some good apple varieties to consider:

What to Serve with Applesauce 

You can top a bowl of applesauce with nuts, dried fruit, or granola or muesli.  Applesauce is a favorite pairing for pork dishes of all kinds, like pork chops, or a pork roast.  It is often served with potato pancakes, especially during the Jewish holidays.

Favorite Crispy Potato Pancakes (Latkes)

How Long Does Applesauce Keep?

This can be stored in the refrigerator tightly sealed for up to 3 weeks.  If you are canning the applesauce in a hot water bath, it will last for months.

How to Freeze Applesauce

It can also be frozen; place the applesauce in a freezer proof container and freeze for up to 1 year.  

When you are freezing applesauce, or any food item for that matter, especially one that is some form of liquid, make sure there is just a little room for the sauce to expand when it freezes without opening the container. 

How to Make Applesauce

Sweeten to Taste

Some apples are quite sweet, and some are fairly tart, and all of the varieties have different flavors.  All of this means that the ½ cup sugar is a starting point.  If your apples are very sweet, and you don’t like your applesauce too sweet, add a bit less sugar, and see if you want to add more once it’s dissolved into the sauce.  Conversely, if you are using tart apples, or just love a sweet applesauce, then add more.

Cinnamon Candies in Applesauce

This is a very old-school addition, but for many years many cooks used a few tablespoons of those tiny cinnamon candies (sometimes round, sometimes heart shaped, perhaps called Cinnamon Imperials) to their applesauce.  These candies provide sweetness and cinnamon spiciness.  You can add them if you like – they also add a notable pinkish hue to the sauce, no matter what kind of apples you chose.

How to Make Applesauce

Place peeled, cored apples with the water in a large, heavy pot. Bring the apples to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer the apples until they are very tender and starting to fall apart, about 20 minutes (some apples will take longer than others). Stir the apples frequently as they cook to prevent sticking and burning. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the lemon juice and cinnamon, and stir to combine well.

You can either mash the cooked apples with a wooden spoon against the side of the pot until the mixture is fairly smooth with little chunks of apple, or run the applesauce through a food mill or ricer which will make it smooth. Taste and adjust the amount of cinnamon and sugar as desired.

Allow to cool to room temperature and transfer to clean dry glass jars. Seal the jars and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

How to Make Applesauce

More Apple Recipes:

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How to Make Applesauce

Smooth or chunky — your choice — homemade applesauce is so easy to make and your kitchen will smell amazing!
Yield: 8 people
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds apples (see Note)
  • cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  • Peel the apples, then quarter and core them.
  • Place the apples with the water in a large, heavy pot. Bring the apples to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer the apples until they are very tender and starting to fall apart, about 20 minutes (some apples will take longer than others). Stir the apples frequently as they cook to prevent sticking and burning. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the lemon juice and cinnamon, and stir to combine well.
  • You can either mash the cooked apples with a wooden spoon against the side of the pot until the mixture is fairly smooth with little chunks of apple, or run the applesauce through a food mill or ricer which will make it smooth. Taste and adjust the amount of cinnamon and sugar as desired.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature and transfer to clean dry glass jars.
  • Seal the jars and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Notes

Some apples to consider!  Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Macouns, Cortland, Gravenstein, Braeburn, Pink Lady

Nutrition Information

Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 61IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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Posted Sep 09, 2022

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