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Easy Homemade Applesauce- Tasty and Unsweetened

I’m so excited to share this simple homemade applesauce recipe with you! It reminds me of fall days in New England. My grandparents and I had a tradition of going apple picking each year. My grandpa and I would spend the afternoon making enough applesauce to freeze for the winter. Those are some of my most cherished memories with my grandparents.

If you don’t know how to make applesauce, this easy homemade recipe is going to be a game-changer. Once you see how simple it is, and how much tastier it is versus the jarred stuff, you won’t buy pre-made again! The natural sweetness and fiber create a healthy, satisfying snack. If you choose good apples, your applesauce will only need a little water, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. I love enjoying it warm or cold.

 

applesauce recipe Laura Guilmain- 1

How to Make Homemade Applesauce That’s Simple and Tasty

My homemade applesauce recipe method is old school- right on the stovetop. It takes about 25-30 minutes to prep and cook. Then you have the option of how you want to finish the sauce- food mill, immersion blender, or high-powered blender.
 
Choose any of these methods that work best for you (it’s all detailed below in the recipe card for you to save or print.) You’ll chop the apples, discarding the stems, seeds, and core. Then, combine all ingredients, cook, and mash. Finish it off by blending or processing through your food mill. It’s that simple.

How to Get the Best Applesauce Flavor

The secret for supreme flavor is in the balance of sweet and tart apples with soft and firm textures. With my grandparents, we used the Macintosh apples we picked right off the tree. If I’m making it with store-bought apples, I prefer to use Honeycrisp, Fujis, and Golden Delicious. Honeycrisps are both sweet and tart- fitting my requirements for the best applesauce flavor. Sometimes, I’ll make a batch with only Honeycrips. Othertimes, I love blending all 3. Alternatively, if you use sweet apples, such as Red Delicious, add a few tart apples, such as Granny Smith, to balance the flavors.

Homemade Applesauce Ingredients

Apples (of course!)

Aim for about 3 pounds total, which is about 6 apples. This recipe is flexible- precision is not needed. I always go for at least 3 pounds or more. Homemade applesauce freezes wonderfully. I often make 5 batches in a sitting. As noted above, combine sweet and tart flavors.
 
To prepare your apples, keep the peel intact. Remove the cores, stems, and seeds while roughly chopping. My preferred tool is an apple slicer corer (see image below)- it’s super fast and simple. You can peel your apples for a smoother texture, but I love the added flavor intact peels bring to the recipe. And it’s less work- win!

 

applesauce recipe Laura Guilmain-2

 

Fresh Lemon Juice

The tart lemon intensifies the taste of the apples, as well as balances out the sweetness of the sauce. The result? A refreshing, delicious, gourmet-tasting applesauce.

Ground Cinnamon (optional)

I’ll be honest- I know cinnamon is a crowd-pleaser in homemade applesauce, but I don’t use it. I understand why people love it. Cinnamon adds in that special flavor often associated with classic applesauce. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory and invokes feelings of coziness and relaxation. 
 
The only reason I don’t add it is that my grandpa didn’t. It’s so rad that you can make applesauce with apples, a splash of water, a pinch of salt, and lemon juice. Then just let the apples do their magic. The purest in me doesn’t care to complicate it. Cooked apples create such a complex flavor all on their own. Nonetheless, I wanted to share this option since it’s so loved and nostalgic for many. If you’re going to add cinnamon, putting it in when you cook the apples is the best way for full flavor development.

Natural Sweetener (optional)

Apples vary in sweetness, depending on the variety and time of harvest (the later in the season, the sweeter). The amount of maple syrup you’ll want to add, if any, depends on your preference and apple choice. I leave the maple syrup out. With this scenario, you can see what sweetness the apples release in the cooking process.
 
I find I even love applesauce that trends towards the tart side. If the result is too tart for you, drizzle pure maple syrup to taste. The smooth texture of the syrup makes it a perfect in-the-moment addition. Adjust as needed to meet your desired level of sweetness.

Pureeing or Blending Options to Create Your Desired Texture for Homemade Applesauce

 

  1. Run through a food mill to separate the pulp from the peel for the smoothest option. Process about 1-2 cups at a time.

    applesauce recipe Laura Guilmain
  2. Use an immersion blender right in the pot for a semi-smooth texture. This allows for peels to remain part of the sauce- keeping the peels deepens the flavor and color.

  3. Place in a high-powered blender-my preferred method. It’s the best of both worlds. It yields a super smooth texture with the added benefit of keeping the peels for rich flavor and color. Even with a high powered blender, I blend in batches, only filling the container 50-75% full each time.
 
This homemade applesauce recipe is so delicious and easy- and it fills your home with the best aroma! Once you try it, you’ll be making it year-round. Enjoy!
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homemade applesauce- Laura Guilmain

Homemade Applesauce Recipe

  • Author: Laura Guilmain
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20-25
  • Total Time: 30-35
  • Yield: About 6 cups 1x
  • Category: snack, dessert
  • Method: cook, mash, blend
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This homemade applesauce recipe is so simple and delicious! Once you make it, you’ll never want to buy it again. The good news? It’s really easy to double or triple this recipe and freeze it for later.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 pounds unpeeled apples (about 6 large apples), with cores, seeds, and stems removed. Roughly chop or use my favorite tool- an apple slicer corer.
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • salt, a pinch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional. In place of the ground cinnamon you can cook the apples with a stick of cinnamon, just remove it before puréeing.[tasty-recipe id="31"]

Instructions

  1. Combine the apples, lemon juice, salt, and water (as well as cinnamon, if using) in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Periodically use a potato masher to breakdown the apples as they soften, releasing the natural liquid from the apples.
  4. Reduce to a simmer for a total cooking time of 20-25 minutes until the apples are soft and falling apart.
  5. Blending options:
    1. Run through a food mill to separate pulp from peel for the smoothest option. Process about a cup at a time.
    2. Use an immersion blender right in the pot for a smooth texture that allows for peels to remain- keeping the peels deepens the flavor and color
    3. Place in a high-powered blender-my preferred method. Again blending the peels deepens the flavor and color
  6. Once blended using preferred option, if applesauce is too watery, simmer over low heat to thicken to desired texture- 5 minutes or less.
  7. Serve warm, or chill in the refrigerator for several hours to serve cold.

Notes

Applesauce will keep in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 5 days. Freezes wonderfully for up to a year in a deep freezer in a freezer-safe container. 5 months is a good guideline if you don’t have a deep freezer. If you freeze it, be sure to allow at least an inch of headroom in your jar for expansion.

Letting the natural flavors of the apples sweeten the sauce is my favorite method. However, all apples are different, even within the same variety. If your sauce is too tart, real pure maple syrup pairs wonderfully with apples and is my go-to if I need a little sweetness. Add to taste.

Keywords: applesauce recipe

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