How To Make Your Own Applesauce At Home

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Applesauce is one of my FAVORITE things to make and is one of the first things you can make in the fall that is sure to bring around the fall vibes.

As with all of my recipes, the steps and ingredients are at the top so you don’t have to scroll for miles to find it.

how to make applesauce at home intro image

But there are some helpful tips and ideas after the recipe to check into.

Check out the table of contents to see what’s here for you. 

Make Your Own Applesauce Recipe

Here is what ingredients you need to have on hand.

  • 12 lbs apples, peeled, cored & quartered(about 36 medium)
  • Water
  • 3 cups granulated sugar, optional (other sweetener options are brown sugar or maple syrup)
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice

Take the prepared apples and cover them with just enough water to prevent sticking in a large stainless steel saucepan.

Bring the apples and water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally until apples are tender (time will depend upon the variety of apple and their maturity).

Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

In small batches puree the apples until smooth apples with a food mill or food processor.

Add the apple purée back to the saucepan and add sugar & lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Maintain a gentle boil over low heat while filling jars with the apple mixture.

Add the hot applesauce into jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.

Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Using a boiling water bath canner – process for 20 minutes. Makes about 8 (16 oz) pint jars

applesauce in a jar with apples around it

Best Types Of Apples for Applesauce

Making applesauce is an easy and delicious way of using up apples. Although you can use any type of apple, some varieties will give the best flavor when cooked into a sauce. Sweet apples provide a pleasant sweetness, while tangy apples lend a sharp and refreshing taste. For the tastiest possible sauce, it is ideal to combine sweet and tangy varieties of apples in roughly equal proportions.

When choosing which of the apple varieties to use for your sauce, look for apples that are fresh and ripe for optimal flavor.

Popular sweet varieties include

Honeycrisp and Fuji, which boast a subtle tartness along with their natural sweetness.

Meanwhile, Granny Smiths and Braeburns both have a more pronounced acidity to them but still bring great flavor to the mix.

If you’re looking for an even stronger tart apples in your applesauce, you could also try adding on sour or tart varieties such as Macintosh or Winesap Apples. Experiment with different combinations until you find the perfect blend!

apples on a tree

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Smooth or Chunky Applesauce

Making homemade applesauce can be a fun, delicious and healthy family activity. Whether you prefer your applesauce smooth or chunky all you need is your favorite variety of apples, a little bit of sweetener, and some optional spices to tailor it to your tastes.

For a chunky texture use a potato masher or pastry blender in the cooking process, while using an immersion blender (or food processor) produces a smoother applesauce.

Applesauce will store for about one week in the refrigerator when kept in a sealed container; another convenient way to store is by freezing individual portions in snack-sized bags or reusable pouches – they squeeze just like commercial brands!

To freeze, simply fill containers or Baggies till they are almost full and make sure to remove as much air as possible before tightly sealing. – Note if you are using zip lock bags to freeze do not lay the bags directly on the wire rack in the freezer. It will slip through the slats and freeze form to the rack before freezing then your applesauce bag will be stuck to the freezer rack.

Frozen stores nicely for up to six months — it’s perfect for stocking up on so you always have some ready for snacking!

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Get a Food Mill and Skip the Peeling!

Having a food mill can be incredibly helpful in making applesauce recipes. Instead of tedious peeling and coring work, all that needs to be done is cutting the whole apple into quarters. The apples are then cooked as directed in Step 1. After the apples are cooked, they can be run through a food mill for easy processing. This eliminates any extra hassle or time spent removing skin and seeds.

In addition to saving time, cooking with peels and cores extract more pectin from the apple – resulting in an even smoother sauce than without it. If the applesauce is too thin, it can always be returned to the pot afterward and cooked until desired texture is achieved, stirring often to avoid sticking on the pot’s bottom.

This tool makes homemade applesauce a breeze. I have found two options that are at two very different price ranges. You need to have one that will clamp down because apples are such a hard substance you won’t be able to grind them in a hand held one very easily. If you go down the Amazon rabbit hole make sure they are for wet material. Some are only for dry foods.

Also, remember that a juicer is not the same as a food mill. You will end up with almost no applesauce if you use a juicer.

Weston Metal Tomato Strainer, 1 Gallon Hopper, Stainless Steel

This one locks down on the counter so you have some leverage.

Get it on Amazon

How to Store Applesauce

Making homemade applesauce can be a delicious, healthy treat. Knowing how to store it correctly, however, is key to making sure it retains its flavor and texture for a reasonable amount of time. First, after the applesauce has had time to cool, it’s important to transfer the applesauce from the pot into an airtight container.

This prevents any odors or flavors from other foods being transferred over and keeps the fresh taste of your homemade applesauce intact. Furthermore, transferring the applesauce into an airtight container will prevent oxygen from entering and spoiling your creation.

Once you’ve safely stored your homemade applesauce in an airtight container, it should then be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week to 10 days before needing to be discarded or eaten. Placing your applesauce in a cool place will stop microorganisms from breeding and growing on the food while also preserving its color and flavor ensuring lasting flavor! Keeping these pointers in mind will help ensure that you can keep enjoying your homemade applesauce for as long as possible.

applesauce in a cup

So Many Ways to Use Applesauce

Applesauce is a great kitchen staple to have on hand. It can be used in so many ways that you may be surprised!

One of the tastiest and most convenient recipes is for banana breakfast cookies.

Just add some applesauce, bananas, oats and peanut butter to make easy delicious on-the-go breakfast cookies.

You could also use it to make the best carrot cake ever – try replacing the oil and eggs with applesauce for a quick, incredibly moist carrot cake that will taste like homemade!

Another scrumptious way to use applesauce is with homemade apple butter spread on toast or pancakes.

Or maybe try carrot cake cupcakes for a bite-sized treat.

Lastly, but not least, did you know that you can substitute oil from recipes with just as much nutritional value? This can save time in meal prepping especially if there’s no oil around but applesauce is! So get creative and have fun in the kitchen by bringing out all the potential of this often-overlooked food item.

applesauce in the mug

How To Turn Applesauce into Apple Butter

Applesauce is the starting point for apple butter, a more concentrated, sweetened version of smooth apple sauce.

To make apple butter, you first start by making basic applesauce with apples, sugar, water and perhaps some spices.

Once you have your base, you cook the mixture over low heat for several hours until it is thick and jammy. You can do this in a crockpot to avoid burning and having to stand over it for hours.

This lengthy process helps create the naturally sweet flavor that comes from the slow caramelization of sugars. During cooking, stirring occasionally helps mix the caramelized bits back into the rest of the sauce to create an even texture.


Once cooked and cooled, this base can be spiced or otherwise flavored then canned or freeze-dried to make a delicious homemade preserve. For truly special homemade creations adding herbs like cinnamon or allspice enhances apple butter to another level beyond what supermarkets carry!

Enjoying homemade apple butter on toast and muffins throughout the winter makes for comforting snacking that’s hard to beat.

Turning fresh apples into applesauce is a cozy and easy way to bring on the fall vibes. Enjoy!