Homemade Applesauce made with just ONE ingredient—apples! You’ll never buy store bought again!
Growing up, one of our family traditions was to go apple (and pumpkin) picking every year. We picked buckets and buckets of apples, and then brought them home for my mom to turn them into every apple treat imaginable. One of our favorites was homemade applesauce. My mom would make huge batches and freeze it so that we could save it through the winter. I loved biting into a spoonful that was still a little crunchy and frozen! Another favorite way to eat homemade applesauce was warm on top of vanilla ice cream—oh yum! This was always my dad’s preferred way of serving it.
Homemade applesauce so easy to make yourself, and it really tastes so much better than the store bought kind. We went to pick apples ourselves last month and turned pounds and pounds of apples into the most amazing applesauce! The boys devoured our first few jars—I have one more hiding in the freezer!
I would hardly call this a recipe, it’s really just instructions. But people always seem surprised when I tell them that I like to make applesauce from scratch, and want to know how I do it. So here it is! I can whip up a 13 pound batch (that’s 32 apples!) in only 20 minutes of hands on time, including clean up! Let it simmer on the stove for an hour and a half to two hours and you will have the most delicious applesauce you’ve ever tried!
Check out my ideas at the bottom to add extra fruits into your applesauce and naturally turn your applesauce fun colors like red, blue, and orange! So much fun for kids!
Look how easy it is to make Homemade Applesauce!
Have you made homemade applesauce before? I really hope you try it—it’s SO much better than store bought! Give it a try, take a picture, post it to social media, and give me a tag! @frieddandelions // #frieddandelions Can’t wait to see how it turns out!
- 5 + Pounds of apples yes, really, that’s it! (see notes)
- Peel, core, and slice apples. I use a gadget like this one, which cuts the work time way down! Don’t worry if you have some peel on the apples, it’s just a texture preference (and the peel contains lots of healthy nutrients!). You could leave the peel on completely if you want even, just make sure to get rid of the core and seeds. Put apples into a large pot (I use a 6 ½ quart pot for 13 pounds of apples). Once you have about a third of the apples cut, turn the heat on to medium. Keep adding apples until you have a mountain of them—they cook down significantly so pile them on.
- Once all apples are in the pot, continue to push down with a wooden spoon, helping the apples to break down. As the apples on the bottom cook, they will make room for the apples on top. Continue to check every 20 minutes or so, smooshing down the apples and helping those on top to get towards the heat on the bottom. The juices will release and help this process. After about an hour and a half the apples will be mostly cooked. At this point, continue mashing until it has reached your desired consistency. You can leave it as chunky as you like, or puree it for a smooth texture. We like ours chunky!
- Optional: You can add a half of a teaspoon of cinnamon if you like. We prefer it plain. While I like to add cinnamon to store bought applesauce, there is a richness that comes from cooking the apples and I don’t think it needs anything else.
- Let cool and divide into storage containers. I freeze my applesauce, less for preserving it, and more for rationing. I think Irving and David could eat my entire 13 pound batch in one day! But it’s a good idea to freeze whatever you won’t eat in the next few days, as there are no preservatives. That way you’re guaranteed fresh applesauce when you want it!
Mix it up!Try adding different fruits to your applesauce—you know, like those fancy schmancy ones you see at the store! Here are some combos I tried in my latest batch: Blueberry Apple—Mix 1 1/2 c frozen blueberries to 2 1/2 c applesauce and warm over medium heat until blueberries begin to fall apart. Cherry Cranberry Apple—Add 1 c frozen cherries and 1/2 c cranberries to 2 1/2 c applesauce and warm through until fruits fall apart. Carrot Mango Apple—Finely grate 2 carrots. Add carrots and 1/2 c frozen mango to 2 1/2 c applesauce. Warm over medium heat until the carrots and mango soften and blend in a bit. Apple Raisin—Add 1 c raisins to 3 c applesauce and allow raisins to plump up over medium heat.
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^^^ A mountain of apples—they will all cook down to less than half!
^^^ Baby David picking apples in October 2011 (picture from original post)
* Pictures were updated in October 2016.