Thursday, November 18, 2010

Homemade Applesauce

Applesauce is something that you buy in a jar (especially if you have kids) and would never think of making it yourself.  Some of the jarred stuff is actually OK.  Applesauce is just, well apple sauce.  There is not a lot of pizazz to it.  It is simple and humble, unless you make your own.  It is not that hard.  Once you do, you will realize what a treat it really is.
Every Fall I make homemade apple sauce.  There is absolutely nothing like it.   It is fabulous.  I love it with granola and plain yogurt or with a slightly sweetened, cooked 10 grain cereal with plain yogurt.  It is the breakfast of champions (at least for this champion).  Or as a snack by itself.  Or a side dish at Thanksgiving.  Yes, that is right, a side dish!  It is so easy to make but it does take a few minutes of peeling.  Want to know my secret? Buy the biggest apples that you can find.  This way you peel fewer of them to get more sauce.  I like that!
Another tip is to buy different types of apples.  For example, this batch contains tart and/or sweet cooking apples like Granny Smith and Mutsu (these usually don't break down like the other apple varieties) along with Winesap and McIntosh, Ginger Gold and Fuji.  I am not that picky about the combination but I never use gala or red delicious.  And it is really awesome if you can find big apples.  I know I already said that but I wanted to drive the point home.  By combining the different varieties you will get applesauce with complex flavors instead of the garden variety, plain apple sauce from a store shelf.  It is totally worth it.  Have I convinced you yet?

You can make it chunky or smooth.  I like it chunky.

Spiced or plain.  I like mine with cinnamon.

Sugar or not.  I like mine  slightly sweetened with dark brown sugar.

So here is my recipe.

Get 5 to 6 pounds of apples.  Peel them.  (If you want pink applesauce then save some of the red peel and add it to the sauce and remove them when you are done.)

Chop them into chunks.  Mine are usually about 3/4 inch.
Put them in a large pot with about 3/4 to a cup of apple cider.  Squeeze one lemon into the pot with the apples.  Add 1/2 to 1 cup of dark brown sugar.  The sweetener is your choice.  Keep in mind certain sweeteners will add flavor that might detract from the apple flavor such as honey.  Honey can have very distinctive flavor in larger amounts.   Add a cinnamon stick or two or a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.  (Here is where you might put in a couple of slices of ginger root and remove them when you are done.  Ground ginger and cloves are an option.  Allspice maybe. It is up to you.)

Bring to a simmer for about 30 minutes with the lid on but slightly ajar.  Stir occasionally.  When it is done either leave the sauce as is, chunky
or use a potato masher so there will be chunks, but not that big
or a hand blender to puree the sauce like you get in those jars.

Now what?  Eat some.  Warm, delicious, tasty, fresh applesauce.  In my opinion, hard to beat.

No recipe to print for this one.  I don't think you can make a mistake with apple sauce.  It might burn if you cook it too high but I haven't done that yet.  I think applesauce is almost fool proof.  Really!  Notice I said almost.



  1. My mom would make us homemade apple sauce whenever she made pork chops. Nothing like it as a side dish with that pork. I have yet to make it for my toddler. Slapping myself on the hand now. I love it warmed and topped on my oatmeal or mixed into pancake batter as well. I absolutely love your apple bowl! I want, I want!

  2. Hi Pretend Chef. I think that you mean the wooden bowl that the apples are in? It was a long journey to find this bowl. It is actually a salad bowl and I found it at an art show. A lovely man who carves bowls out of fallen trees. It was not inexpensive but is definitely a family heirloom! Thanks for visiting.

  3. Prentend Chef - Oh and if it is the apple glass bowl. That is one of those discontinued items on some back shelf that I was lucky enough to run into. Seems kinda perfect with the applesauce!

  4. Homemade apple sauce is so much better than the storebought kind! I've made mine in a slow cooker. But think I'll try your method next time.

  5. Looks incredible!!

  6. Beautiful! One of my favorites at a little dive restaurant my mom and I hit every so often. Their food is amazing and ofcourse they offer this home made applesauce as a side. I havn't been able to replicate but yours looks pretty darn close. Can't wait to try this, thanks for posting!

  7. This makes a great light dessert for me! I can also have it with bread crumbs and cheese as breakfast. Nothing better than homemade foods.

  8. I love homemade applesauce, especially with cinnamon. My friend gave me a jar of applesauce that she made, and I used some of it to make spiced pumpkin Bread, Yum!

  9. Love this post! We picked a bunch of apples at a local orchard this fall as well as purchased some boxes to over winter from farmers. This seems to be a delicious, rustic dish to make. Thanks for the timely post!

  10. I make lots of applesauce but never heard of simmering in cider. Great tip! Thanks!

  11. I've been meaning to make applesauce! I love that bowl you have, so cute.

  12. Nice apple sauce recipe!
    Where did you get that adorable bowl?

  13. Rivki Locker - Cider adds nice intense flavor plus a bit of sweetening. Applesauce is a great way to use that apple cider that is just starting to ferment. Anyone who buys organic, unpasteurized or flash pasteurized cider knows this can start to happen several days after the cider is opened. Another tip for this issue is to heat it and made spiced cider with mulling spices, but you can only do this a couple of days after it is opened and before it gets totally weird!

    Medifast - There are three bowls. I bought the white bowls with the ruffled brown edges at Anthropologie. They were probably one of the cheapest items in the store but I just fell in love with them. We all know cheap and Anthropologie are not synonymous.

    The wooden bowl the apples are in is from a wood crafter at an art show.

    The glass apple bowl was found on a discount shelf from a china/dishware shop many years ago. I have never seen anything like them since. I love finds like that.

  14. Yum, sounds delicious. Have you ever tried making your applesauce in a slowcooker? I've heard differing opinions on this approach.

  15. Wilde - I have heard of it but have never done it nor do I have a slow cooker (maybe I should get one!). I have heard of apple butter in a slow cooker which sounds like an excellent idea.

  16. An easy method that I use is to core & cut the apples into quarters. Place them on a foil lined sheet and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Depending on the tpye of aplle the skin will just fall off and then I add my sugar/cinnamon to the warm aplles while mashing slightly with a fork. Quick & clean up in a breeze, toss out your apple skins in the foil. We go through alot of applesauce in our home!

  17. Yum. I am a new follower. Found you on Tasty Kitchen today and so glad I did. Your recipes look amazing. :)


    Dana @ Bookgirl in the Kitchen

  18. Thank you Dana. I am on my way back to TK now. The holidays can so busy!


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