Homemade applesauce is incredibly easy and quick to make, nutritious, and tasty! It's a one pot recipe that requires just two ingredients and can be made in less than 20 minutes!
There is something incredibly satisfying about making homemade applesauce. Perhaps it's the simplicity in being able to make an applesauce from scratch that tastes WAY better than store-bought applesauce. It's stupid simple. Apples, water, cook, mash.
It's reason enough to plant an apple tree in your backyard, or your friend's backyard if you don't have a backyard. Tell your friend they can have a 50/50 cut of the best applesauce they will ever eat if they let you take over a small patch of their property. And if they aren't swayed, offer to make them these apple pear galettes or this blackberry apple crisp. That oughta do it.
🌟 Why you'll love this recipe
- Easy, easy, easy: We all love easy recipes that taste delish. Use an apple peeler corer slicer to make prep time crazy quick and this recipe will take just 20 minutes from start to finish.
- Preservative-free, nutritious, and tasty: Homemade applesauce doesn't have any of the preservatives or artificial additives commonly found in store-bought applesauce. It's just wholesome, sugar-free applesauce that is not only healthier but tastes better too.
- Customizable: Naturally sweet apples, such as Honeycrisp, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Gala, and Crispin will produce an applesauce that is naturally sweet without the need for any added sugars. If you would like the applesauce to be a little sweeter or if you're using tart or tangy apples such as McIntosh, Pink Lady, Braeburn, or Granny Smith, add a tablespoon or two of your preferred sweetener. Also, consider amping up the autumnal flavors by adding a little cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice. It will taste like apple pie filling. Yummm.
- Get the whole family involved: Making homemade applesauce is a fun activity for the whole family. Many hands make light work. My kids love taking over on the apple peeler corer slicer and enjoy transforming the cooked apples into applesauce using an immersion blender (using these kitchen tools is age dependent of course). Make a big batch of applesauce and package it up in mason jars to share with family, friends, and neighbors too!
🛒 Ingredients & suggestions
- Apples: Use any type of apples you fancy (except for Red Delicious, they become mealy in texture when cooked). I like to use Honeycrisp apples for their natural sweetness (and because I have a tree in my backyard loaded with them). When deciding which apples to use, take into consideration whether they are sweet, tart, or tangy. Applesauce is pretty forgiving and is easily customizable if you need to adjust the flavor by adding a little sweetener.
- Water: Just a little bit of water steams the apples while they cook helping them to become soft and mashable.
- Optional ingredients: If needed, add a little sweetener (white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, etc.) if your applesauce is too tart or tangy. For spiced applesauce try cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground ginger, or combination of any of these spices. Some people enjoy adding a little bit of vanilla extract and even butter to their applesauce. Others include a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to brighten the flavor. It really just depends on what type of apples you are using and what your own taste preferences are so have fun experimenting!
For a full list of ingredients and quantities see the recipe card at the end of this post.
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
Step 1: Wash the apples and then peel, core, and slice.
Step 2: Place the prepared apples and ½ cup of water in a large pot with a fitted lid and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Once the apples are soft and tender, use an immersion blender to puree the applesauce to your preferred texture. A regular blender or food processor will work great too. To avoid getting sprayed with hot applesauce be careful not to fill the blender or food processor too full. If you like a chunkier applesauce, mashing the cooked apples with a wooden spoon or a wire potato masher works great too.
Step 4: Serve your applesauce! Enjoy it hot or cold!
🍽 How to use up a jar of applesauce
Homemade applesauce is tasty by the spoonful whether it's packed into a school lunch (these reusable squeeze pouches are super cute!) or served as an after-school (or after-work) snack with a sprinkling of cinnamon on top, but here are a few other ways to enjoy it:
- Use in baking to add moisture or as a substitute for oil, eggs, or butter. Try it in my favorite Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.
- Make a yogurt parfait layered with chunky applesauce and topped with granola.
- Use as a topping for pancakes, waffles, or French toast.
- Stir into a bowl of oatmeal.
- Spoon over ice cream with a sprinkling of granola for a quick apple "crisp" dessert.
- Make a chunky applesauce with a little bit of brown sugar and warm spices (such as cinnamon and nutmeg) and use as a filling for homemade hand pies.
- Turn it into apple butter! Add some sugar, spices, a little lemon juice and cook low and slow for 1 to 2 hours and you'll have the most delicious spread.
- Serve with pork chops or latkes.
If you have other ways you enjoy applesauce tell me in the comments below. No secrets allowed.
👩🍳 Recipe tips!
- Quicker prep: The most time consuming part of making applesauce is peeling, coring, and slicing the apples. I know I've already mentioned it but if you don't have an apple peeler corer slicer, homemade applesauce is the perfect reason to get one! Another option would be to use a food mill or a fruit and vegetable strainer attachment for a Kitchenaid. With a food mill or the Kitchenaid attachment you can skip peeling and coring the apples and just cut them into quarters. Once the apples are cooked, just run them through the food mill or strainer.
- If using a blender to puree the cooked apples, allow the cooked apples to first cool for 5 minutes or so. Blending hot applesauce can cause the blender lid to pop off or liquid to splatter out due to the buildup of pressure and steam from the heat. Either blend in small batches or remove the small cap in the center of the blender lid and cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel to catch splatters, pulsing until smooth.
💭 Frequently asked questions
Store in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container or jar.
Homemade applesauce can be refrigerated for 7 to 10 days. It will last even longer if frozen or canned. For canning instructions refer to the National Center for Food Home Preservation processing directions.
Yes, applesauce freezes really well! Once the applesauce has cooled to room temperature, divide into freezer safe jars or bags. If using jars, leave room for expansion. When you're ready to eat the applesauce, just let it thaw in the fridge overnight.
Make it chunky, make it smooth, make it plain, or make it spiced. You really can't go wrong. Maybe even throw some red hot candies in it (#childhoodflashback).
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