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Easy Homemade Apple Sauce

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Easy Homemade Apple SauceApple picking is almost synonymous with fall in Midwestern America. What’s October without a good trip to the orchard? Alex was lucky enough to bring in a haul of apples from a nearby orchard (or, mom’s neighbor’s apple tree) a few weeks ago.

What to do with pounds of apples? Make applesauce, of course!  I grew up making applesauce from the tree in our backyard – we always set aside a day or more to cook down mountains of apples and freeze the sauce for the winter. Maybe because it was such an involved affair, I never though applesauce could be simple.

Trying it on our own made me think again – not only was it easy, if you have the right apples, you need no extra ingredients! (Well, water and salt – but do those count?) 

We were surprised to find that the apples we used were so sweet that the sauce was perfect without any added sweetener!  It all depends on the type of apple you use, so you can add a bit of honey or sugar at the end to your liking. However, “au natural” was perfect for us (and it tasted nothing like the “natural” brands in the stores)!

Looking for other apple recipes?

Apple and Pear Salad with Curry Vinaigrette
Apple Cranberry Sage Bites
Cabbage and Apples

Easy Homemade Apple Sauce
 
by:
What You Need
  • 3 to 4 pounds sweet cooking apples (we used a variety similar to Macintosh)
  • ½ to ¾ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Honey and cinnamon, if desired
What To Do
  1. Core the apples and cut them into quarters or smaller pieces (an apple corer works well here). If you’d like applesauce that is not rosy in color, you can peel the apples (it’s also easier to make chunky apple sauce this way; see Step 3). Otherwise, leave on the skin; it’s easier and makes for a beautiful rosy color!
  2. Place the apple pieces in a large pan with about ½ cup water (for 3 pounds; about ¾ cup for 4 pounds). Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat a bit and let cook until the apples are soften, about 30 to 35 minutes. Check the pot every so often, stirring and mashing down the apples.
  3. When the apples are cooked down, turn off the heat. Then:
  4. For chunky applesauce, mash down the apples with a potato masher. However, if you left the skins on, you’ll need to remove them; you can do so with a fork, though might is a bit time consuming.
  5. For smoother applesauce (and to easily remove the skins), pass the applesauce through a food mill or force it through the holes in a colander. (The food mill is the easiest method, but a sieve or colander works just as well, though it takes a bit longer!)
  6. Taste! Depending on the type of apples, you may not need to add anything more (we didn’t!). If the apples are not sweet enough for your taste, add honey and/or cinnamon.
 

 

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SonjaEasy Homemade Apple Sauce

Comments 20

  1. Ken G.

    We found that if you put the sliced apples, honey and cinnamon in the microwave, yes I know it’s a dirty word, but you can omit the water and the flavor is not diluted. Makes terrific apple sauce.

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      Sonja

      Wow, I didn’t know about this trick! (I agree microwave can be a dirty word, but sometimes it’s necessary :) ) How long do you microwave for?

      1. Ken G.

        We microwave about 10 cups of peeled and sliced apples for 5-7 minutes (covered of course), stir then back in for another 5-7. The time varies with microwaves as you well know, but it is very easy to get the texture one prefers by monitoring. We only add two cinnamon sticks before cooking, then add the honey and/or sugar and ground cinnamon after to taste. This is a tried and true recipe thanks to the annual bounty from the family gravenstein tree. We have three freezers (mine, sister’s, mom’s) full of the stuff!

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      Sonja

      Thanks! We actually heard about not needing to add sugar from Alex’s mom and sisters — and I was amazed too! It depends on the apple, but we loved it just as it was :)

  2. penandra

    I make mine in the slow cooker with no water — my Mom used to can hers (instead of the freezer), and she would add some of those “red hots” (small cinnamon candies) to about 1/3 of the jars . . .

  3. Ashley

    I LOVE the pink color. Beautiful. My mom makes the best applesauce. It’s a dark, muddy color from all the spices she adds. She uses very little sugar, if any, so the tartness packs a lovely punch.

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      Sonja

      Thank you — we weren’t sure how much leaving the skins on would affect the color, but it did make for a nice pink! Spices sound delicious – we’ll have to try adding some next time!

  4. anna

    Hi! I am fortunate to read your blog just in time after receiving a box of red apples (a gift from a friend, who I happened to help by recommending a good speech therapy school for her little boy…)
    My mom says the variety is Worcester or Pearmein. She added they are good variety but don’t keep well. Do you think these apples will be the good kind for your recipe?
    Thanks!

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      Sonja

      Oh, perfect! I did some research and found that Worcester Pearmain is an early-season English apple with a sweet and sometimes strawberry flavor. That said, I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be a good kind to use for the recipe! And there’s only one way to find out… let us know if you give it a try!

  5. MrsMudd

    Well, having gotten the recipe from my aunt….who always made freezer applesauce…we use the old-fashioned, but very efficient combo apple corer-peeler for prep…then slowly cook the apples…no need to slice…we like lumpy, and use the potato hand masher to finish them when they soften…leaves a wonderful texture…and yes, we threw in some red hots…which provided a tiny bit of sugar in their own right, a wonderful pink color overall, and the bite of hot cinnamon. Yum!

  6. Gracie

    When I saw this post, I was flooded with fond memories of my mom making applesauce every fall using the apples from a tree in our yard. I considered giving it a go, but decided I’d pass. About two days later, I printed the recipe. I have made five batches since then. Everyone from babies to my boyfriend to my coworkers have eaten it and loved it. The little containers bring a smile to their faces. Thanks for posting it. I plan to make a batch tonight, with hopes of finally putting a few containers in the freezer for myself. :)

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      Sonja

      What a wonderful story – thank you for sharing! I’m so glad you decided to make it, and that it could be a fun reminder of childhood for you too! :) Good luck and I hope you get to enjoy some too!

  7. Bri

    Yum! I started experimenting with homemade applesauce. Last couple times I went to Costco and bought a large bag of red delicious apples.

    I use a crock pot and essentially peel and cut up the apples, drop them in, add a bit of vanilla and water, then let them cook all day. :) The entire apartment smells delicious all day!

    I also make a dessert applesauce, where I add in white and brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon (along with some water). It tastes like apple pie filling, and is great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream ;)

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