This recipe for Homemade Applesauce is so simple to make, naturally sweetened, and better tasting than any store-bought applesauce!
If I want to see my kid's faces light up, I just need to announce I am making homemade applesauce.
And I don't blame them! NOTHING beats homemade applesauce.
From the taste to the texture to the aroma of applesauce cooking, homemade trumps store bought any day of the week.
But my recipe for applesauce is truly the best for a couple of reasons.
- Naturally sweetened. No sugar is added or needed in this recipe for applesauce. And I promise you it is plenty sweet.
- No peeling is required. That's right! The peels will break down and become plenty soft to blend right into the applesauce. Not only does this make this recipe easy to make, but it also adds fiber and nutrients to the applesauce.
This recipe for applesauce has been a staple in my house for decades, and I believe it needs to be one in yours as well!
Selecting Apples for Applesauce
You can truly make applesauce out of any variety of apples. I recommend sweet, soft apples for homemade applesauce, as they cook down easily and naturally sweeten the applesauce so that there is no need to add sugar to the applesauce.
I also find that a combination of apples works to give applesauce incredible flavor as well.
I typically opt for some sort of combination of Fuji, Courtland, Gala, and/or Golden Delicious. I will also sometimes throw a couple of Granny Smith apples into the mix for a bit of tartness.
Money-Saving Tip: Scan the manager's specials for apples that are almost past their prime. They are typically marked drastically down and they make the perfect base for applesauce! I have even found great specials at my local orchard on bruised apples.
How to Make Homemade Applesauce
- Thoroughly clean 3 pounds of apples.
- Core the apples and chop them into large chunks and place the apple chunks into a heavy bottom stock pan.
- Add in apple juice, apple cider, or pineapple juice and cinnamon, if using.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer.
- Simmer for 1-2 hours until apples are soft and broken down into nearly a soft mush.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to a blender or food processor fitted with an s-blade, leaving the cooking liquid in the pan.
- Be sure to allow steam to escape by loosening the shoot on the lid. I find it is also helpful to place a kitchen towel over the top, to prevent any splatter.
- Blend until smooth, adding cooking liquid if needed.
Storing Homemade Applesauce
Once your applesauce is blended, allow it to cool slightly and then transfer it to an airtight container or jar. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
To freeze applesauce, allow the applesauce to cool completely. Place into 1-quart freezer-safe bags or containers, leaving about 1 inch of room for expansion. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw out the applesauce in the refrigerator overnight. Serve cold or heat gently over low heat before serving.
- Cooking Liquid: Instead of apple juice, you can use apple cider or pineapple juice as the cooking liquid. Either of these options helps to naturally sweeten the apples as they cook. Of course, feel free to use water if that is all you have on hand, but your applesauce will not be as sweet or flavorful.
- Peeling Apples: You can certainly peel the apples if you prefer. I like the ease of not peeling plus the added nutrition that the peels provide.
- Cinnamon Applesauce: For Cinnamon Applesauce, add 1-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to apples before cooking.
- Sweetened Applesauce: I find this recipe plenty sweet, but if you like your applesauce on the sweeter side, add in 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup, granulated sugar, or brown sugar.
- If you have an Instant Pot, you may want to try my recipe for Instant Pot Applesauce. It comes together in just 30 minutes.
Obviously, applesauce makes a wonderful snack or healthy addition to breakfast or lunch. However, you can use this homemade applesauce for baking as well. Try it out in one of the following recipes.
If you made this homemade applesauce, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
- 3 pounds apples
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon optional
- Wash and dry your apples. Remove core from apple and cut into 2 inch chunks.
- Place apples in heavy-duty stock pan. Pour in 1 cup apple juice and sprinkle with cinnamon if using.
- Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat.
- Simmer for 1-2 hours until apples have completely broken down and skin is soft.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to a blender or food processor fitted with an s-blade, leaving the cooking liquid in the pan. Leave the shoot on the blender or food processor cracked or open, and blend until smooth, adding the cooking liquid if needed.
- Serve warm or cool to room temperature and then transfer to an airtight container or jar and store in the refrigerator.