There is nothing better than homemade applesauce with hand-picked apples, and it is so easy to do! We have a couple of apple trees, each with several varieties of apples growing on them. Every year, starting in late August when the first of the apples begin to ripen, my father starts making batches of his homemade applesauce. He freezes them in large quart-sized mason jars for us to enjoy all year long.
The secret to my dad’s applesauce is that he adds a few strips of lemon peel to the apples while they are cooking, as well as some lemon juice. The tartness of the lemon serves to intensify the taste of the apples, and helps balance out the sweetness of the sauce. The result is a refreshing, utterly delicious applesauce.
The sugar amounts are just guidelines, depending your taste, and on the sweetness of your apples, use less or more. If you use less sugar, you'll likely want to use less lemon juice. The lemon juice brightens the flavor of the apples and balances the sweetness.
If you want chunky applesauce, use a potato masher to mash the cooked apples. If you prefer smooth apple sauce, run the cooked apples through a food mill or blender.
- 3 to 4 lbs of peeled, cored, and quartered apples. (Make sure you use good cooking apples like Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonathan, Mcintosh, or Gravenstein.)
- 4 strips of lemon peel (use a vegetable peeler to strip 4 lengths, zest only, not the pith)
- Juice of one lemon, about 3-4 Tbsp
- 3 inches of cinnamon stick
- 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
- up to 1/4 cup of white sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 Put the peeled and quartered apples, the lemon peel, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, brown sugar, white sugar, water and salt into a large pot. (If you are concerned about the sugar level, start with half the sugar and then add more to taste.) Cover the pot. Heat on high heat until the the water starts in the pot starts to boil. Then lower the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the apples are completely cooked through and tender.
2 Remove the pot from heat. Remove the cinnamon stick and lemon peels from the pot. Mash the cooked apples with a potato masher. If you want a smoother applesauce, you can put the mash through a food mill or purée it (in small batches) in a blender (do not fill blender bowl more than halfway). Add more sugar to taste if not sweet enough. If too sweet, add more lemon juice.
Serve either hot or chilled. Delicious with vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt.
Freezes easily, lasts up to one year in a cold freezer.
Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on Simply Recipes. Thank you!