Classic homemade applesauce recipe is super easy to make and can last for a long time by freezing or canning (we included instructions for both). The sugar is optional depending on the sweetness of your apples, too!
Sweet: Red Delicious, Gold Delicious, Jonagold, Gala, Fuji
Water: The purpose of the water is to keep the apples from sticking to the pan.
Sugar: Add sugar according to your personal taste and considering the varieties of apples you used (i.e., sweeter apples may require less sugar). It's okay to omit the sugar entirely, too.
Lemon juice: This is required if you are canning the applesauce (instructions below). It doesn't taste lemony but just ensures the sauce is acidic enough to be safe for canning. If you are not canning the applesauce, you can omit the lemon juice.
Yield: 8 cups which fills 1 quart jar or 4 pint jars.
Cinnamon applesauce: Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon OR two 3-inch cinnamon sticks to the pot. Remove cinnamon sticks before mashing.
Cranberry applesauce: Cook and puree 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries with the apples.
Ginger applesauce: Cook 3 (1-inch) smashed ginger slices with the apples and remove before pureeing.
Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
Freezer: Label and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Canning:Lemon juice is required if you plan to can your applesauce.
Prepare the applesauce according to the recipe. After seasoning to taste with sugar, maintain a gentle boil over low heat while filling jars.
Ladle hot applesauce into hot jars and leave 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and wipe rim. Center lid on jar and screw down band until resistance is met. Increase to finger-tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are covered with water. Bring to boil and process both pint (500 mL) and quart (1L) jars for 20 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, and store.