Made this recipe today with my 10-year-old niece and she was quite thrilled to cook alongside her Auntie Kendra. Although delicious as is, next time I think I’ll leave the sugar and water out and try the alternative another commenter suggested-apple cider. This should provide the sweetness desired (if not already enough with just apples), along with enough liquid to cook the apples. The addition of lemon was fantastic and provided the perfect brightness to the applesauce. I also threw in a dehydrated orange slice I made about a year ago-nice addition as well! :)
I use Fuji. No sugar is needed but they need peeling. So a bit of cinnamon and lemon and thats it.
If I was to use just the white sugar, how much would I use then? Your recipe calls for 1/4 brown & 1/4 white…thanks
Use 1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp of white sugar. But I would start with just 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add more at the end if you think it needs it.
I don’t usually like apple sauce. I didn’t measure the lemon-just squeezed a little in and it came out perfect. I probably would have been perfect had I followed the instructions. Never thought apple sauce could taste so good. My daughter was coming down with a cold and didn’t have an appetite, but this was one thing she agreed to taste and ate the rest of the batch. Thanks for sharing.
Got it cookin on the stove there now :) smells awesome!! Can’t wait to eat it with my ham steak.
I found that this recipe called for far too much lemon. I used a fairly sweet organic Jonagold, and I had to add unwanted white sugar to compensate for the overly tart zing of this. I would just put a couple of squeezes of juice and definitely not steep the apples with the lemon peel.
Simply put, Good Stuff! Made it with apples from the orchard after Apple Picking and it’s really good!
Hi I am wanting to can this applesauce. Should I make any adjustments? And if so what? Thanks for the great and simple recipe.
Hi Jolene, great question! I haven’t yet tried canning the applesauce we make (we just freeze it) so don’t know what to tell you.
You talked about things that could be added to applesauce. I like raspberries with apples. It makes for a wonderful apple and raspberry crumble. I add frozen raspberries to the cooked apple and then put the crumble mixture on top. (For those who have never tried apple crumble, which I think is British, it’s 4 ozs of flour, rub in 2 ozs of butter until it’s like breadcrumbs, stir in 3 ozs of sugar and place on top of the apples in a pie dish or casserole dish or whatever. Cook in moderate oven until golden.)
What a great idea Diane, I love the simplicity of it!
went thru your recipe but an not allowed to eat sugar as i have a artery blockage can i substitute with jaggery or stevia sugar and how much
Hi Zarina, I don’t know, you’ll have to experiment with your own substitutions.
If you love applesauce, your new friend is the Foley Food Mill. No peeling, only quartering the apples. My mom used to make applesauce, but never with lemon rind. Mine is working right now,I’m looking forward to tasting with the additon of lemon rind. I’m sure it will bring back fond memories. Thanks for the great directions.
Can the apples be pressure cooked instead of simmering for 20-30 minutes?
Yes, though you’ll have to experiment with the timing.
Hello Elise. I pressure cooked 2 big apples (1 whistle). I added a couple of cloves (used in many Indian sweets) also. Excellent taste, texture and aroma! We are using it along with Indian breads also. Thanks a lot.
I just want to tell you, I made this applesauce today, I had 3 lbs of Gala apples that were starting to go bad. I peeled off the brown areas on the the skin, cored them, and followed your recipe exactly. Made it with pork chops, was the hit of the dinner. Saved the water to cook a pork roast. Thanks so much, haven’t made applesauce since my children were little. We loved it!
Hello again Elise. On Oct. 9 2014, I sent you a message asking if I could sub the white sugar with Stevia or Supra. You were unsure, but one of your readers, A Knesal, responded that yes, all would be good with a bit of dark brown sugar.
As it turned out, no sugar was needed as I got all the sweetness needed by adding a can of mandarin oranges, including the juice and dark brown sugar>>> It was fabulous!!!!
You may recall that my interest in your applesauce recipe was based on scheduled major oral surgery. Since having the surgery, I have made a total of four batches, all with varying additions…mandarin oranges, blueberries, pineapple, dried cranberries, blood orange marmalade, pure maple syrup. Four constant items>>>cinnamon stick, lemon, dark brown sugar and, of course, APPLES!!!
So Thanks Elise, you are my new food guru. I will keep you posted with my “Elisecapades”. Take care, Joanie
I also make my applesauce using a food mill. I quarter the unpeeled, uncored apples. Then I followed your recipe and added the lemon peel and cinnamon stick which I removed before putting the apples through the food mill. I only needed 1/4 cup of brown sugar. The only change I made was to add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract after cooking. I took my applesauce to a potluck. People all wanted to know how I made it and said it was some of the best applesauce they had ever tasted!
If my blender can process Apples raw do I need to cook them to make apple sauce? Trying to consume more raw foods .
Hi Joyce, why don’t you process one of your apples in your blender and see how you like it? To make the type of applesauce that we’ve presented here, then yes, you do need to cook them.
Cook the peels and mash them separately and then mix into the apple sauce, you get all the good nutrients of the peels AND the peels are super sweet and eliminates the need for refined sugar!!!
I can’t find a food mill here in Israel. Could I blend this with a stick blender do you think? I miss homemade applesauce (fruit sauce in our family, with plums and peaches too – yum!) but I like it smoother than I think I could get it with a potato masher.
If the apples are cooked through enough and there is enough residual liquid then I think a stick blender will work fine.
Great to know, I’ve already bought the fruit, can’t wait to cook it up!
The stick blender worked perfectly and the applesauce (plus a few plums) is delicious – thanks Elise!
Fabulous. Used half the white sugar, added a dash of nutmeg and tablespoon of brandy before cooking. After cooking, added one tablespoon of unsalted butter while cooling – thickened it nicely. Better the second day.
My mother used to make applesauce with Macoun, Baldwin and Golden Delicious apples, and because we loved raspberries, she would throw those in, too. She made some sort of a coffee cake with the finished sauce…wish I had that coffee cake recipe. :-)
Going to try your recipe this week!
I am scheduled for oral surgery (all my teeth will be removed and replaced with implants). Knowing that my diet will be restricted to soft foods, I googled apple sauce and hundreds of recipes came up. I chose yours for it’s simplicity and freezing ability, and after reading the reviews, I am so excited to get started putting out batches. I am going to try both the stovetop and the crockpot methods, adding pears to one and blueberries to the other. My question to you: Can I replace the white sugar with Stevia or Supra? Thank you and I will will keep you posted with my results.
Hi Joan, oh my gosh, good luck with your surgery! I don’t know about subbing with Stevia or Supra, haven’t done it myself, but perhaps someone else will weigh in on the subject?
Thanx So much for your response Elise! Has anyone else used a sugar substitute like Stevia or Supra?
I use stevia for baked goods, you just have to be careful that you don’t over do it by using too much. There is a bit of a different flavor added with stevia that some will note, I amend that with more spices and a measure, depending on quantity, of dark brown cane sugar.
I scaled this recipe way down just to use the couple of apples I had available to serve as a side dish for pork chops for my husband and me. A Tbsp of water and sugar, a sqeeze of lemon juice at the end and a sprinkling of cinnamon was all I used. I cooked it right along with the dinner and we served it warm. So good! (I mention this so that people who don’t care to make a huge batch for canning will know it can be done easily as a small serving size recipe.)
Personally, I never bother coring and peeling the apples – just wash them well, remove any worm holes, roughly chop them and cook them down. When you put the result through a food mill (I use the attachment for my KitchenAid) all the skins and seeds are filtered out. Also, applesauce is one of the easiest things on earth to can: put the sauce in sterilized jars with new lids, cover with boiling water and simmer for 30 minutes. I do this every autumn and put the sauce in my children’s lunch boxes all year!
Thank you so much for letting us know how to can. I’ve been searching the comments looking for it. We just moved to a farm with an endless supply of fruits and veggies, so I’m looking for ways to keep them all year round. Thank you!
Love this recipe, use it a lot, only thing different I do is use only 1/2 cup of a good apple juice, and cook in my crockpot on low for 3 hours….can cook a little longer but we like it a little chunky, the reason I like it in the crockpot is the smell is comforting, so like to make it last a little longer, have a great day…..
So you replace the water with applesauce? Or do I still need to add water?
Can you really freeze mason jars? Would they not crack when thawed out?
They won’t crack unless you 1) put hot jars in the freezer, or 2) immerse frozen jars in very hot water. I’ve never had a mason jar crack from freezing and I am constantly using mason jars to freeze chicken stock or applesauce.
I have been making this each year since you first published it. Even my applesauce-ambivalent husband enjoys it when I make it this way!
Wow, this is good. I left out the sugar and salt. Why would you need those? Anyway, this is delicious.
I would love to make this recipe. Can you tell me how much the finished product yields?
About 1 1/2 to 2 quarts.
This recipe is amazing I just got finished making it for the first time.
This turned out amazing: http://theactorsdiet.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/latke-love/
So glad you liked it! ~Elise
I use only green apples and raw honey as a sweetner. It is very good.
Made this last Sunday for breakfast and it was so yum that barely had any for the pancakes. I used whatever apples were at home; am sure granny smith will taste even better.
Thanks, esp for the tip about the lemon zest – made all the difference.
This was absolutely delicious! For those of you who didn’t have a cinnamon stick on hand… just use 3/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon. It worked out perfectly for me. I used 3 lbs. of granny smith apples. Although I was unsure about using the lemon juice with such a tart apple… I did anyway. It worked out perfect. Great recipe! I will be using this from now on.
Outstanding recipe. Made it exactly as listed except used just the brown sugar and omitted the white since the audience prefers less sweet taste. Ate with plain yogurt and also just on its own.
By far the most interesting looking recipe for applesauce I found online. I can’t believe I just found this site but now have to try more of the recipes here. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for a great recipe! I made it with the plethora of apples I got at the Orchard this weekend and I LOVE it!
I have been making applesauce for years, and this recipe is the best I have tried. I love the lemon peel, and using the cinnamon stick imparts great flavor without being too strong.I canned several jars, and plan to use them not just to eat, but in applesauce cakes-that should give some depth of flavor!
Excellent recipe!!! This is the only recipe I will ever need for applesauce. Perfection. I used a little of everything in season in NJ. I threw in some Jonamacs, Golden Delicious, Mutsu, and I even threw in a Red Delicious.
Just finished a batch with the sugar replaced with 1/2 cup of agave nectar and lime replacing the lemon…absolutely delicious!!
I just moved to the country and our house has six apple trees in the backyard. This recipe worked great. I didn’t measure ingredients very precisely. Just to taste–mostly because I have A LOT of apple to use. Found this recipe because I was looking for applesauce to freeze. When I used a potato masher to mash the apples, the lemon peels came to the top.
I love this recipe! A friend suggested that I try a bag of one kind of apples and then pick up six or seven different kinds to add to the sauce. It gives a wonderful taste, and of course, you get lots of sauce. Thank you!
I made this recipe on Thanksgiving and it was awesome! I used 6 large granny smith apples and followed everything else in the recipe, only exception was that I used ground cinnamon since that is what I had on hand. I think it got better after a couple days in the fridge so next year I will make on Mon or Tues for Thanksgiving! Love things I can make in advance, thanks!!!
Loved the recipe Elise :0) Made somes minor modification as I was using all Granny Smiths and find they are quite tart so I omitted the lemon juice. I also microplaned the lemon and used the zest instead of the lemon rind. This recipe rocks!
How long will the applesauce last in the refrigerator?
Good question, a couple of weeks? We freeze ours, and defrost the jars one at a time as we eat them. We’ll eat through a jar long before it even hints of going bad. ~Elise
I have made this applesauce twice. Both times it got great reviews. One trick I tried was to put a tiny drop of red food on each of the pieces of lemon peel to make them a little easier to find. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.
OMG! I accidently used maple syrup concentrate ,instead of lemon . sooooo yummy!
Wow I am soooo happy with this recipe how can I go about canning it how long should it sit in the waterbath for? and will it still have the same conststency after canning ?
Great questions. This isn’t a recipe designed for canning though, and we don’t can our applesauce. We’ll freeze the jars we make. I suggest looking up applesauce canning recipes on a canning or preserving site like Ball or Sure-Jell. ~Elise
Absolutely delicious. Thank you for this one – and all your other wonderful recipes.
I’m really excited to try this recipe — I’m using it as a step towards making some crock pot apple butter. My one question is, how much does this recipe yield?
Great question, I totally forget! A couple quarts maybe? We usually just wing it with this recipe, don’t even measure. ~Elise
I have tried several applesauce recipes and this is the BEST by far!!! It is delicious and love that it keeps a light color. Other recipes I have used result a in dark applesauce. I guess the key to that is the lemon juice. I have 2 more bushels of apples to make in to applesauce. So glad I found this recipe, my boys are too. Thanks for sharing!
My mother in law gave me lots of canned applesauce and canned pears. Do you have any side dish recipes? I was thinking something with cheese would be good with canned apples?
I love serving applesauce over cottage cheese, or alongside a pork chop. ~Elise
I made applesauce last night for the very first time in my life using your recipe. OMG ! I couldn’t believe how easy it was. The most tedious part was peeling 4 pounds of apples .. but it was well worth it. I got the apples for free from my son’s neighbor so it truly was very inexpensive and so deliciously rewarding. In addition to the cinnamon called for in the recipe, I also added some strawberries and a bit of freshly grated nutmeg. I didn’t have any lemons on hand so I used a few fresh limes from my tree instead. Thanks for the recipe. This is certainly a keeper.
We have an apple tree at our new house in Ca, and we have no idea what type of apples they are…but, they are ready so I had to do something. I got the apples going with only a little water in the bottom of the pot then I added brown sugar, cinnamon and a hint of almond before putting them in the food mill. They tasted a bit “dry” so I checked the web and found your recipe. I had already made the sauce, but I liked your idea about adding the lemon peel and since I didn’t have any on hand, I squeezed a couple of oranges into the sauce (I also have 3 orange trees, I am always looking for ways to get rid of oranges)and the taste is amazing! Thanks for the idea of adding citrus…I never would have thought of it!
This recipe is wonderful! Like most other comments, I followed it to the tee. The only thing I would recommend is to put toothpicks through the lemon peels as they are quite hard to find.
This is pretty similar to the method I use for making applesauce. A couple of tips for you or anyone to try: Use a slow-cooker to cook the apples. My mom makes homemade applesauce but she has accidentally burned it on the stove before by not putting enough water in and letting it all evaporate too quickly. The slow cooker prevents this (and prevents boiling over, too.) I also use at least 3 and as many as 6 different varieties of apples. The variety is really what gives it the best flavor, I think. Of course, when I make applesauce in my slow cooker, I make a HUGE batch. My slow cooker holds (I think) 8 quarts and I fill it up with raw apples (usually around 10lbs of apples total.) I also use some cranberry juice as part of the liquid. I would use apple juice or cider but I don’t keep it on hand as much as cranberry juice. I’ve already made my huge batch of applesauce 3 times since Thanksgiving. My husband loves the stuff. I added 2 pears the last time I made it, in addition to about 5 or 6 different kinds of apples.
I just made this and it was fantastic! I used an apple corer/slicer thing for it, rather than quartering the apples. after it simmered for 30 minutes, I was thrilled to discover that no mashing was even necessary! The apples had just fallen apart and had a perfect apple-saucy texture. I used 8 granny smiths.
My kids love homemade applesauce – in addition to the above recipe I also include an inch or so of peeled ginger root; and, I also add nutmeg to it – no sugar and use apple juice instead of water. Oh so good!
I love this applesauce recipe, and I have made it three times already this fall. The lemon juice was absolutely perfect, it made it taste bright and not too sweet. Thanks so much for a simple and delicious way to use all my apples!
I love homemade applesauce, and make a huge batch every year for canning and freezing and a lot of eating. I prefer to use a mix of apple varieties, and very little (if any) sugar. I also like it really chunky, so I don’t smoosh any of it at all, and just let it exist at its natural cooked down consistency. My other little secret is to use apple cider instead of water- its so rich. Making applesauce is something I look forward to every year!
Recipe sounds real good, but can you can it?
Mom and I are bottling jams and chutneys for holiday prezzies. Apple sauce is on the favorite list but need to know if this works. Thanks.xx
Hi Shelly, great question, to which I do not know the answer. We freeze our applesauce to preserve it. ~Elise
I just made this and it turned out Great ! Thank you so much !
I was looking for a simple recipe to can a boatload of apples and it’s just great! Love the lemon, I zested the lemon before juicing and threw the whole thing in there (I’m a fan of sour). Thanks again!
What a great recipe! Loved the added lemon. I plan on using this to make my Zucchini Bread. Thanks for sharing. Seattle, WA
I was given 4 bags of apples in a food box. There was no way we could eat all those apples. I found this recipe and gave it a shot. As the time of year I added the sugar. My house smelled so good while it was cooking. When it was done it was a big hit with the family. I will definitely be making this again.
I made this applesauce recipe yesterday using 7 granny smith apples.
What a great and simple recipe to put together. I used 3T brown sugar and 2 slices lemon rind along with the cinnamon stick. I, at first omitted the sugar, but after an initial taste when this was simmering away I added the sugar and I am glad I did because the sugar is just what it needed. I also ran it through a Foley food mill and the outcome is velvety and buttery.
I cannot wait to get some North Carolina mountain apples for this recipe.
Thanks for sharing.
Fine recipe but: why does nobody leave the skins on. I’m about to do a batch of sauce, not strain it but just mash with a potato masher, which I’ve done before with success. I’d like to try it with skins on. Is that OK?
The skins tend to toughen when they cook, and the texture conflicts with the soft texture of the rest of the apple. But why don’t you try it and see if you like it with skins included? ~Elise
Great recipe! I love to add golden raisins soaked in Amaretto Liquor. Just bring several ounces to boil, remove from heat , add some raisins, cover and let sit for 45 minutes or so till plumped; drain and add to applesauce. Delicious on Steel Cut Oatmeal for breakfast. Oven toasted pecans sound good also.
Thanks for the easy and tasty recipe. I made two batches. One with the sugar and one without. It was plenty sweet without and the sweetened batch worked great with plain yogurt. I used key limes instead since that’s what I had. Zested several directly in, plus the juice. Heaven! Rave reviews from my foodie friends. I also got crazy with fresh ground cinnamon.
What an interesting recipe!
[…] First, I’d like to quickly introduce myself: my name’s Jason, I’m Belgian (so, I normally speak French) I’m 15 and I love the U.S.A., especially their food. I strarted two years ago to be interested in american sweet recipes like Cookies, Brownies, Muffins, Cheesecakes, Pies, Scones, Buns, Cakes & Cupcakes, Breads, Loafs, and so on. It’s a real passion and now, I begin to visit some websites in English to find more recipes really American. So, I apologize for my mistakes (spelling? words? ..) but I try to speak as good as possible. :).
I’ve known your site for a long time, but these days I’ve tried some of your recipes. I’ve had some organic Boskoop apples and I’ve decides to try to make your apple sauce. It was a success! Thanks a lot, it was really delicious ^^
I made this after we went apple picking and had cut/peeled too many apples to fit in the pies…
So delicious. I added a lot more lemon juice than you recommended and it came out wonderful.
I also used 2 cups of water instead of 1, then strained it before mashing…. and the fluid made a delicious hot apple cider beverage!
Does it matter what type of container you freeze it in? Do you have to use canning jars? Or can you use recycled glass jars (i.e. old pickle jars, salsa jars. etc)?
We use old pickle jars or canning jars. Just leave enough head space (about an inch) so that when the liquid in the applesauce expands upon freezing, it doesn’t break the glass. ~Elise
Your recipe is so simple and so delicious! I had a big bag of Fuji apples from a friend’s tree and looked to your site immediately. I love the lemon peel, it really does add that fresh taste. Thank you again and I love your site!
Thanks for the great recipe. I only used 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar. I used apples we picked at a local farm. Also I canned the sauce and it worked beautifully. Of course, we will have to see in a few months. :) I am sure the sauce will be great. I also made your apple chutney, which was really yummy and canned that too. I was really pleased to find your site.
I attended a family reunion this weekend in the Alabama countryside – there aren’t a lot of apple trees but we have some great sand pears (I’m not sure if that is the technical term but it’s the one I heard all my life – very dense flesh and thick, bumpy skin) – I almost picked my uncle’s pear tree clean with the plan to make some pear butter (my aunt – one of the world’s best country cooks – swears by a recipe she’s going to email me – I’ll pass it on if anyone wants a go at it), pear preserves (a specialty in the deep south), and pear sauce. I had my own simple recipe for pear sauce that I threw together one year but I’m going to try this one and hope my little ones actually eat it this year. Like all kids, they need a little incentive, so I usually make mine with Splenda (to cut down on calories and sugar intake) and sprinkle a very few candy sprinkles on top – yes I know it negates the Splenda but the fun aspect helps them eat and they clear their bowls so I get fruit in and do a trade off on the sugar :)
Keep up the good work!
I just made this.. and am eating a warm bowl of it right now, and it is delicious. It is way sugarier than I prefer, though, so next time I’ll do as others have done and omit the sugar.
Thanks for the reminder! I have a lovely bowl of Ginger Golds, Macs, and an unknown “baking” apple my daughter picked at the apple farm – time to make applesauce. Instead of lemon, I add a cup or so of raw cranberries – it makes it slightly tart, so tasting before freezing is critical. Beautiful rosy color, too.
I add those little cinnamon heart candies that you have leftover from Valentines Day to the applesauce as it is cooking. They impart a unique cinnamon flavour, a hint of sweetness, and a very appealing rosy color.
I make a really quick and easy applesauce, and usually just eat it as is, or mixed with home made, unsweetened yoghurt.
1) Take a number of largy granny smith apples, leave the skin on and chop, removing the core and seeds, into rough chunks.
2) Place the apples in a large microwave safe bowl and place the apple chunks in it with a splash of water.
3) Cover the bowl with a plate and cook for 5 minutes, stir and recover. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
4) Continue cooking for 3 minutes at a time until the apple is nicely soft.
5) Thoroughly blend.
What I like about this applesauce is that it is simple, and keeps the apple peel (you wont notice after it’s blended) which contains much of the nutritional value. Also it has no added sugar. Of course you can add spices, or a little lemon if you like.
Perfect. I keep avoiding the 4-5lb bags of Gala apples at the produce stand because I just can’t eat that many apples. What a terribly simple idea, and the texture is the same after being defrosted?
Yep, texture is the same. :-) ~Elise
It did look good – so good that I was going to ask if Elizabeth Falkner’s book, Demolition Desserts, has her real recipe for rocky road cupcakes, but then I found this recipe available on-line although it only uses regular marshmallows so I’ll give that a go.
BTW, Philo Apple Farm does the SF farmers market and if you’ve never seen Bramleys before, they look like oversize Granny Smiths.
If you want smooth apple sauce that is sublime then may I suggest you use Bramley apples – they cook down to a pulp and have a superb flavour – but don’t let them any where near a tarte tatin or similar. They also work really well with blackberries and in crumbles and best of all in blackberry and apple crumble.
BTW, which cupcake did you have and would you have shared it with Mr Lebovitz?
Chocolate and yes, if I had even for a moment thought about it. But his rocky road cupcake looked pretty good, didn’t it? ~Elise
I made this with macintoshes that I picked last week. The first batch, which I made with 1/2 white sugar and 1/4 brown, was a little sweet for me. The second batch I used 1/4 brown and 1/4 white, almost perfect. I think I would still reduce the sugar a little. The lemon gives it a nice tart taste.
Thanks for passing on this idea and recipe.
I made the sauce tonight, and it is perfect! I used a bit less of sugar, and Jonathan apple.
Could someone give me ideas what can I use it for?
I found a recipe for a cake, and of course it tastes good with a spoon ;) anything else?
Thanks for the recipe, Elise, not the first one from your site which I found delicious!
We usually just eat it straight. I love applesauce over cottage cheese for breakfast. You can also easily freeze it (just leave some headroom in the jar to prevent it from breaking when it freezes). Much of the applesauce we make during apple season we freeze and eat all year. ~Elise
I love applesauce. I’ve lately been making it for my son who is just now 4.5 months. I have simply made it in ice cube trays for him, and am excited for the day that he “graduates” to solid food, rather than that which I produce in fairly great quantities just for him. I’ve been on the lookout for good baby food-making websites and came across this one:
and thought of your site, Elise–I have a feeling that if you were to do a baby food site, it would look something like this.
I just wanted to share with all the other people who love food as much as we do, who are looking for ways to share that love with their babies!
I am a BIG fan of your site! So pleased to see your applesauce recipe tonight as we have 3 bags of yard apples in the fridge and I’ve never tried using lemon or peel.
Wondering if you or other readers ever just quarter the apples and cook — I catch all the seeds and skins when I run it through the food mill.
Is my laziness costing me in terms of flavor? I don’t know. I think it tastes great.
I don’t call it lazy to run all that through a food mill! That’s a lot of work in my opinion. I do it that way when I’m making apple butter, because you want the pectin from cores to help it thicken. But you can make apple sauce this way too. ~Elise
I’m definitely going to have to try adding the lemon juice and peel. That sounds perfect.
Like some other commenters, I say forgo the sugar. With the right apples, it isn’t needed at ALL. Or, at least start small and add incrementally if not using very sweet apples (which is basically what you suggest with the “up to 1/2” measurement).
Thank you for reposting this classic fall recipe. It jogged childhood memories of my sister and I peeling apples with my grandma’s old crank-style apple peeler. We had so much fun eating all those stringy pieces of peel! I don’t recall my grandma using lemon peel (or lime peel, as Mary suggested) in her applesauce, but I’m anxious to give it a try in my next batch.
The best applesauce I’ve ever had was the applesauce my grandmother used to make. she always used transparent apples and now I do, too. I just cook the apples down with a little water and then mash them. Then, if it needs it, I might had a sprinkling of sugar and/or cinnamon. So good.
What if I served this applesauce warm on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of a graham or whole wheat cracker? might it remind one of apple pie?
I think the closest thing to that apple pie feeling is my mom’s baked apple slices. Even easier to make than applesauce. ~Elise
Oh, I miss homemade applesauce! We used to drive up to one of those pick-your-own places and come home with buckets’ worth of apples. I’m pretty sure I thought the food mill was really an apple sauce machine because that’s all my parents ever used it for! We would sit around after dinner dipping pretzels into the warm sauce and oh, it was incredible.
That seems like a lot of sugar. I like to use apple cider instread of water, really boost the flavor.
Exciting that it’s applesauce season. I have such happy memories of my mom making it after an apple-picking trip. Important to have two peelers so everyone can help.
I would definitely add a whole vanilla bean or two…
Homemade applesauce rules, I made some just a little while ago.
This is a wonderfully simple and tasty recipe! I made some slight modifications that turned out to be delectable: I added the full 1/2-cup of sugar, and used light-brown sugar (1/4-cup) instead. Also, I used 1-tsp of cinnamon, 1-tsp of lemon juice concentrate, and 1/2-tsp of kosher salt. I also added some pears to an 8-lb batch and strawberries to a separate 3-lb batch. I froze the applesauce in 2-cup portions, then put the frozen portions into vacuum bags and vacuum sealed them. Thanks again for this wonderful start of a recipe!
I was making 2 Qts. of apple sauce with Cortland and Delicious apples from our own trees, however, the red delicious apples are not really good for sauce. So after reviewing comments here, I saw someone suggested adding lemon peel at the end. I didn’t have a fresh lemon, but did have a lime. I tried a few strips of lime peel and the lime juice from one lime. It was amazing. A slight bit tart, like applesauce should be, and very refreshing, with just a hint of Key Lime pie! ( I also included 1 tsp cinnamon, and brown sugar to sweeten my recipe.) Try some lime peel- you’ll be surprised!
Mmm…yummy. Do you think I could can it in a boiling water canner, or would I need a pressure canner? Apples are on sale at the grocery store next week and I want some :)
Because of the sugar content, and the acidity from the lemon juice, you should be able to safely can this applesauce with a boiling water canner. ~Elise
This is the first time I have made proper apple sauce (I made sort of sauce for my first born!). I used a combination of gravenstein and elstar, no sugar and used some birnen dicksaft (pear nectar is it?) and ofcourse cinnamon. The apples were with skin on. I actually prepared them to use in cake but looks like they’ll not reach their destination.
Our applesauce came out great.
When the world gives you lemons, make lemonade.
When the world gives you apples, make applesauce!
I’m a teacher and as many teachers I get apples from time to time. However, when one of my students arrives, she brings 10-pound bags of apples. I might be exaggerating a bit, but there are at least 30 apples in each bag.
I can’t eat that many apples. Twice now, however, I have used your recipe to make applesauce. I eat it chilled and it’s delicious. It’s a sweet alternative to processed sugary sweets that most of us eat too much of.
Thanks Elise for the great recipe. Whenever you’re in Hollywood, California, stop by, you can some of my applesauce at my Hollywood Apartment Farm.
Zach (Zachary means sugar in Greek)
I have a very delicious and simple applsauce recipe:
8-9 Apples of your choice
1 Cinnamon stick
Slow Cooker or Crockpot
Peel, core, slice your apples. Place in a crockpot or slow cooker. Place 1 (no more) cinnamon stick in the middle. Turn on low and cook for 6-8 hours or what I do, is cook it overnight. Stir and apple slices will give away to delicious applesauce.
You can add sugar to your liking, but I never do. It’s so simple and yummy!
This was simply delicious. received RAVE reviews. I used three sort of apples: 1/2 granny smith, 1/4 golden delicious, 1/4 some other sort and believe that the mix really makes the difference. You could taste the apple goodness. taster loved the rougher texture too.
Thanks for this recipe, a real winner.
Elise, I’ve been visiting your site since 1996, when it was just a little heart icon and some photos. Anyway, you’ve done a great job with the site… worthy of the name “Elise”. ;)
So far I’ve made this applesauce recipe and your banana bread recipe. Both were delish! And your instructions couldn’t have been easier. Looking forward to many more yummy meals!
Note from Elise: Oh you remember the heart? It’s still here: http://www.elise.com/graphics/heartanm.gif. Thanks for saying hello and I’m so glad you like the applesauce and banana bread, 2 of our favorite recipes.
Have you or anyone else put up this applesauce,the cranberry applesauce, or the rhubarb apple sauce using the water bath method? If so, please advise. I have no more room in the freezer, so I would need to do that. Thanks for your feedback.
Sincerely, Mark in the Arizona Desert
I can’t believe I even looked elsewhere for an applesauce recipe! I always check your site first! What a dunce. This looks fantastic. I recently bought a pressure canner to can meats and fruits for a home storage project and, with apples being so cheap and delicious right now, I really wanted to can some of the good stuff. Thanks so much for your recipes and your time in putting them up for the rest of us.
A deceptively simple recipe for great taste. I added a little star anise to give it some Asian inspiration, plus it complements cinnamon well. The lemon peel smells amazing when it’s simmering.
I followed this recipe exactly, with only one minor change – instead of lemon juice I used pineapple juice as I didn’t have lemons on hand; and the combination of sweet pineapple and apple turned out amazingly :)
A neighbor gave this recipe to me and I made it with fuji apples but 3 lbs. wasn’t enough. I would need about 10 lbs. to be able to freeze any. Very good recipe. Will try strawberries or blueberries next time. I know cinnamon would be good too.
I am a divorced Dad & I had a request for apple sauce the way I use to make it when my children were young..this one hit the nail on the head ..thanks..it`s great just the way it is.
Great recipe! I had some apples that were going to go to waste. I found a blender based recipe elsewhere that didn’t work, so I had to scramble. Switched to this one mid-cooking and oh! warm applesauce is awesome!
Excellent recipe, and so easy to make! I made this recipe with a bag of McIntosh apples, and used 1/4 cup of cinnamon, and it came out perfect! Thanks for posting it!!
Elise, I made your applesauce the other night, and it was fantastic. Made a few changes to fit what was on hand. Thanks.
I tried this for the first time after apple picking in September, making it every month since! My 2 year olds love it, and I also made it to bring to my parents’ for Thanksgiving this year, and everyone loved it!
This recipe is very tasty – we used jonnagold with no sugar and it was fabulous – a very buttery flavor. I also tried with Gala, but the lemon made it a little too acidic for my taste.
I highly recommend trying with no sugar.
Note from Elise: If you don’t add sugar, then you don’t need the juice of a whole lemon, perhaps just a teaspoon or two to taste.
This was a really easy recipe and tasted yummy. I even canned some for later :)
I made the applesauce with 4 lbs.of Granny apples and it was delicious.
Elise, I really enjoy Simply Recipes. Keep up the good work.
Little Rock, Ar.
I agree — homemade applesauce is one of those deceptively simple luxuries. But, sugar? Who needs it? I make a wonderful sauce using unpeeled, cored & quartered Cortlands and a bit of apple cider to get them started. Then I put it through my Foley food mill…the results are a lovely pink sauce that’s sweet and tangy. Freezes beautifully and is a favorite among neighbors and friends and family when I bring a quart along to picnics or holiday dinners.
I used to make a sweetened, cinnamon’d sauce, but when I discovered these local Cortlands cooked up so deliciously, it just wasn’t worth bothering with the extras.
I needed just a little courage to leave out the sugar and Cookie provided. It was great.
This is a lovely recipe, I used some sort of macitosh apple(small and red all the way through some times) and made 4 liters of the most wonderful sauce. If you use a strainer and save the juice it makes a great hard cider! All in all, a great way to make apple sauce!
I had no idea to use a strainer to save the juice, what a great tip!! Waste not I guess. You learn every day!
I”m having trouble wrapping my head around only using a cup of water in which to boil the apples. Is this correct…only a cup of water?
Right. You’re not going to drain the water. The apples will release moisture as they cook.
Thanks. This is actually the second time we’ve (my-6 yr old and I)made it using your recipe. I simply couldn’t remember if we adjuted the water amount. My daughter told me the first time we added a little more than a cup of water, and it came out GOOD. Thanks. This second time–because I couldn’t remember, and we had to get to making it–I added a total of 2 cups. Loose–plus mom wanted hers pureed–but flavorful. One cup is certainly enough water. I’d forgotten the apples released moisture. Thanks for that and the recipe! She (we) made a batch for her to give to her friends to try.
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