How to make applesauce

by Kristen on October 16, 2008 · 19 comments

in Food Waste, Preserving, Recipes

Some of you who have been reading my blogs from the very beginning(alllll the way back in March of this year! lol) will recognize this post, which was originally published on my food-wasting blog. I was making some applesauce today and remembered this post, so I thought I’d republish it here.

I’m guessing that a lot of you out there in blog world end up with random apple slices at your house the way we do at ours. It seems like when I cut an apple up for lunch or dinner, we never eat exactly the number that I cut. Sometimes I save them to eat later, but leftover apple slices are never very appealing since they turn an unappetizing shade of brown. So, sometimes I’ll start a Leftover Apple Slice Bowl in the fridge and when it gets full, I use the apples to make applesauce. This is also a good thing to do with apples that have lost their crunch or with apples that have random bad spots or bruises.

Since this isn’t a very exact recipe, you can easily adjust it to accommodate the number of apples you happen to have.

Homemade Applesauce

Core and peel the apples and place them in a saucepan or pot.

The peels can be composted or you can feed them to your children if, like mine, they’re anxious to eat them.

Add about 1/2 inch of water to the pot, cover, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Turn heat to low and simmer for about an hour, or until the apples look like this:

and are very soft. Keep an eye on them to make sure that all the water hasn’t boiled out(in that case, you’d end up with burnt apples and a very messy pot. Ask me how I know.). Remove the cinnamon stick and, using a slotted spoon, remove apples to a bowl. For chunky applesauce, mash by hand, using a potato masher. For a smoother applesauce, pour the apples into a food processor and process them until they are the desired consistency, adding liquid from the pot as needed.

The finished product should look something like the above picture, and it will be delicious. Even with no sugar added, homemade applesauce is SO much tastier than store-bought applesauce. And it’s a far better alternative to throwing the unwanted apples away.

By the way, the liquid from the pot is usually quite sweet and tastes sort of like apple juice, so I save mine to give to my younger two at breakfast.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Annie's Granny October 16, 2008 at 7:14 pm

My grandmother always boiled her apple peelings in a bit of water, strained them and made apple jelly. But then, she also buried her potato peelings in the garden, where many would sprout and form small potatoes. Grandma was really frugal!


2 Shasta October 16, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Funny that you mention this, I just made homemade applesauce with Gavin (he loved chopping the apple slices with a butter knife) for the first time on Wednesday. It was so much better than store bought, SO much better! Most of us loved it but my husband did complain that it was too chunky (I used a potato masher) so I may take your advice and use a food processor next time. I would rather have it chunky, myself.


3 Kristen October 17, 2008 at 4:46 am

AG, I will have to give that a try. Although, I used my apple peeler/corer/slicer yesterday, and that shaves off a VERY thin bit of skin with hardly any apple on it, unlike the peelings that I get when I hand-peel my apples. I wonder if the skinny peelings would work.

I had no idea potato peelings would sprout…what a good idea!

Shasta, I grew up on homemade applesauce, and I never have adjusted to the store-bought taste and runny consistency. I do buy it sometimes because my husband and kids don’t mind too much, but I’m just not a fan of it.


4 Gail October 17, 2008 at 8:07 am

I use up apple slices by sauteing them in a skillet in a little bit of butter with a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon to taste and throw in a handful of apples. It’s good as a dessert to serve with a dollop of vanilla yogurt and a sprinkle
of granola on top!


5 Kristen October 17, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Gail, that sounds delicious!(and easy too).


6 CanadianSaver October 18, 2008 at 6:17 am

Gail, great idea!

I make applesauce often as I get apples for free at my part-time job. I like really really smooth sauce, so I use my immersion blender. It does a great job!

I don’t add cinnamon to mine but in the past I’ve added those little red cinnamon hearts for color and flavoring… so good!


7 Jill Snyder October 23, 2008 at 6:34 am

I can’t wait to do this recipe!


8 WilliamB June 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Do what Gail suggests (skip the whipped cream), pour a sweet pancake batter on top, bake at 375F till done, and you have a tasty dessert called cloufutis. You can make it with any number of fruit but apples remain my favorite.

Why anyone buys applesauce is something of a mystery to me: apples are inexpensive, you can leave the peel on (fish them out after it cools, or chop the apples instead of slicing and don’t fish out the peel), and it’s so tasty.


9 Kathy @ the korner March 10, 2010 at 7:17 pm

This was also what I did with getting-wrinkled apples and the applesauce made turned out to be a lot more than I’d thought. Applesauce can also be frozen in zip-loc bags that have been doubled and kept in refrigerator 24 hours before freezing. I usually fill small size bags with the sauce and then put 2 – 4 of these in a Gallon size bag being sure to eliminate excess air in the large bag before sealing. PRE REFRIGERATION IS A MUST otherwise ice-crystals form within the applesauce and changes the flavor.


10 Molly September 12, 2010 at 8:45 am

I don’t even take the peel off – I like how it adds color and texture to the final applesauce. I learned to can it this year!


11 Megyn @ Minimalist Mommi September 28, 2011 at 10:36 am

Just a little tasty tip–my nana would always add in a few red hots. I can’t even explain how immensely delicious it was with that secret ingredient!!


12 Patti October 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm

No need to peel, in my humble opinion. The colander that I use traps every bit of the peel which I thinking may harbor some sort of extra nutrition. I do core, however, because I wouldn’t want to find any black seed splinters in my sauce. Not peeling would also be a time saver. Just weighing in…..


13 Kristen October 12, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Yep-when I am able to borrow my mom’s colander, I don’t peel my apples either (yay for easy!). But since not everyone has access to one of those delightful tools, I recommended peeling here.


14 Marthalynn December 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Wait, I’m confused. You mean just a regular colander? The kind you use to maybe strain pasta? At what point would this tool come into use for this recipe?

Either way, I’m beyond excited to make this. I wish I had an apple orchard nearby so I could pick the apples myself and then it would be totally homemade! Is it just me or do apples seem kind of expensive? Especially if you buy organic, since apples are on the “12 Non-Organics to Avoid” list.


15 Kristen December 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Nope, I mean a food mill type of colander. It’s called a cone colander, and you can see it in use in this more recent post I wrote about making applesauce. I usually make a couple of big batches of applesauce in the fall, when local apples can be had, and I borrow my mom’s colander for that.


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