Homemade Applesauce Recipe
Make this easy homemade applesauce recipe! Subtly sweet & gently cinnamon-spiced, with the perfect chunky texture. Just 5 ingredients!
Hello my friend!
Can you believe it’s already the middle of November? How did that happen??
I plan on sharing lots of Thanksgiving recipes leading up to the holiday this year. I’ve already got you covered with most of the basics: pie crust and dinner rolls, etc., and last week I shared those fabulous pecan pie bars…
Now I don’t know if this is considered Thanksgiving food or not, but I just had to slip this homemade applesauce recipe in before fall passes us by!
I’m telling you, this recipe will make your whole house smell amazing!
I had it simmering away on the stove one day, and my 13-year old came out of his room (which is a miracle in itself!) to see what I was making that smelled so good. He loved it! Said it smelled like apple pie (his favorite).
But it is SO much easier to make. Only 5 simple ingredients (that’s if you count water as an ingredient, which I’m not even sure you have to), and it’s done in about 20 minutes. It all happens in one pot, you can do it on the stovetop OR in the slow cooker, and you don’t need a mixer or a blender or any kind of fancy kitchen equipment at all.
It comes out so apple-y and just sweet enough, with the perfect chunky/smooth texture and a hint of warm cinnamon. You can use it in your baking or just eat it by itself as a side dish (so delicious with turkey and stuffing- or anything pork!). I’m telling you, it wouldn’t be fall without making this homemade applesauce at least once!
HOW TO MAKE APPLESAUCE
You are going to love how easy this recipe is! It’s practically impossible to mess up, and it’s basically just dump, stir, simmer, and mash. Couldn’t be simpler!
Start by peeling your apples. You’ll need about 4 pounds of apples, which translates into 8 medium-sized apples. (See below for the best varieties of apples to use.)
This recipe should yield about 2 quarts of applesauce. If you want to make a bigger or smaller batch, you can scale the recipe up or down very easily, so just halve or double it as needed.
Cut the apples in half, then into quarters, then slice out the cores.
Toss them into a big pot (here’s a link to the kind of pot I like: enameled cast iron Dutch oven), and add water, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.
If you prefer unsweetened applesauce, you can totally leave the sugar out. Personally, I like mine a little bit sweet, so I’ve noted the recipe with some sugar but not a whole ton. To me, it’s just sweet enough.
The same goes for cinnamon- if you don’t like it you can leave it out, or if you love it you can add more. Definitely season this applesauce to your own taste.
Lemon juice will brighten up the flavors and make it taste even more “apple-y.”
Give everything a quick stir, then place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat. (See below for crockpot applesauce instructions.)
Cover, and allow it to come to a simmer.
Let everything cook until hot and steamy.
You’ll know the applesauce is done cooking when the apples are very tender. You should be able to pierce them with the tip of a sharp knife, and it should slip in and out easily, without any resistance.
Once they’re ready, take it off the heat and mash it up! I use this kind of gadget: potato masher, but you could also use a fork or a wooden spoon, or whatever you have on hand! For a smoother puree, a blender, food processor, or stick blender would work great.
Once you’ve got the texture you like, you’re all set!
Enjoy this applesauce warm, cold, or at room temperature.
WHAT KIND OF APPLES TO USE
For the applesauce you see in the pictures and video here, I used Honeycrisp apples. I love Honeycrisp because to me, they have a nice sweetness and they are a little more on the firm side.
Granny Smiths are another favorite, if you like a little more of a tart flavor.
Other good options include Fuji apples, Gala, Golden Delicous, Crispin, MacIntosh, Braeburn, Rome, Pink Lady, or Macoun.
Really the only variety that’s generally not recommended for making applesauce would be the Red Delicious.
If you prefer, you can totally make this applesauce recipe in the crockpot or slow cooker.
Just dump everything in, stir, and set it to the lowest heat for 4 hours. Then mash it all up. Easy peasy!
IS IT HEALTHY?
I always hesitate to say that a recipe is healthy because so many people have such different definitions of what that really means. But in this case, I will venture to say that this is probably one of the healthiest recipes I have on this site.
This homemade applesauce recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and vegan. It’s got zero fat and it’s pretty low in sugar. And it clocks in at just over 70 calories per 1/2-cup serving.
So go ahead and enjoy without the guilt!
CAN THIS BE USED AS AN EGG REPLACEMENT?
My boys and I have backyard chickens, so I rarely feel the need to bake without eggs. But that being said, I have read that applesauce can be used as an egg substitute in many sweeter recipes.
The rule of thumb is to replace one egg with 1/4 cup of applesauce. For a lighter, less dense texture, you might want to also up the baking powder by 1/2-teaspoon.
CAN YOU CAN APPLESAUCE?
This applesauce can be processed in canning jars, for longer shelf life.
Fill sterilized jars all the way up with applesauce while it’s still hot, allowing a half-inch or so of headspace. Place brand new lids in hot water to soften their seals, and wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth.
Place the lids on top of the jars, and screw on the rings. Submerge the jars completely in boiling water, and allow them to process for 10 to 20 minutes.
Then remove them from the hot water and allow them to cool. As they cool, you should hear the lids “pop,” or suction down. This is how you know you’ve got a safe, airtight seal. If the button on the lid still moves up and down when you press it, it did not create a proper seal and you should submerge them in boiling water again.
For more in-depth, step-by-step instructions on how to can (with pictures!) check out this recipe post: strawberry jam.
HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?
If you choose to can your applesauce, it will last in the cupboard (unopened) for 2 to 4 months.
But you don’t have to can it. If you don’t want to bother with that, just place it in an airtight container in the fridge. It should keep there for a week or two.
You could also freeze homemade applesauce! It should stay good in the freezer for around 6 to 9 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge several hours to a day before you plan to serve it.
A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE APPLE RECIPES:
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Homemade Applesauce Recipe
- Peel, quarter, and core the apples.
- Place the apples, water, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice in a large pot and stir to combine.
- Cook over medium-high heat until simmering.
- Continue to simmer, covered, until the apples are soft (approx. 20 minutes).
- Mash the applesauce to the desired texture.