A classic, homemade applesauce recipe is super easy to make and can last for a long time by freezing or canning. This version is flavored with a touch of sugar, but added ingredients such as cinnamon, cranberries, or ginger add a super rich bite that can’t compare to any store bought variety.
Add it as a side to your next pork dinner or simply serve it to the kids as a healthy, afternoon snack!
What kind of apples are best for making applesauce?
It really depends on the flavor you’re after. My favorites are Jonagold, Pink Lady, Jonathan, and Macoun. Jonagold are tangy and sweet, Pink Lady are tart and sweet, Jonathan are tart and fresh, and Macoun are sweet and crisp. Use one variety or all four, the choice is up to you!
How do you make applesauce?
- In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, combine the apples, water, sugar, and salt.
- Cover and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the apples from scorching on the bottom, until they begin to release their sugars and break down.
- Depending on the size of the apple chunks, this should take anywhere from 15-20 minutes.
How long does homemade applesauce last?
Homemade applesauce, stored in an airtight container in the fridge, will last for up to 10 days. For longer term storage, it can also be frozen or canned. If you decide to freeze your applesauce, place in a plastic freezer bag, push out all the air, tightly seal, label, and use within 3 months.
Is applesauce good for you?
Apples are full of fiber and Vitamin C, so yes, applesauce is super nutritious! Most of the nutrition actually is in the skin, so if you want to get the most bang for your buck nutrient wise, don’t peel the apples and buy organic if you can. The texture won’t be as smooth, but your body will thank you!
How do you make unsweetened applesauce?
Simply omit the sugar. If you are making the applesauce from apples in their peak season, they may be sweet enough already that no sugar is required. Keep in mind the applesauce can also be sprinkled with sugar right before serving or for a natural sweetness, replace the sugar in the recipe with an equal amount of honey.
What else can you do with apples?
- Cranberry Sauce with Apples (the sweetness of the apples goes so nicely with the tartness of the cranberries).
- Homemade Apple Pie (my favorite recipe)
- Caramel Apple Dip (so great with fresh apple slices)
- 4 pounds apples peeled, cored, and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (8 to 12 apples, see notes)
- 1 cup water plus extra as needed
- 1/4 cup sugar plus extra as needed
- Pinch salt
- In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, combine apples, water, sugar, and salt. Cover and cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until the apples begin to soften and break down, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Mash the apples against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon or against the bottom of the pot with a potato masher. Adjust sweetness and texture with additional sugar or water as desired.
- My favorite apples for applesauce are Jonagold, Pink Lady, Jonathan, and Macoun.
- To double the recipe, increase the cooking time by 10 to 15 minutes.
- To make the applesauce ahead, cover and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
- To make cinnamon applesauce, add 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon OR two 3-inch cinnamon sticks to the apples. Remove before mashing.
- To make cranberry applesauce, add 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries with apples.
- To make ginger applesauce, add three 1/2-inch smashed ginger slices with apples. Remove before mashing.