The best homemade applesauce recipe isn’t really even a recipe at all. It’s more of a method for making your house smell delicious. Not only does the house smell good, but you end up with a product you won’t be able to stop eating.
It all started one year when we picked just a few too many apples…like 15-20 pounds too many. I had no idea what I was going to do with them all, but I knew I wasn’t making pie anytime soon.
You may or may not know that I can’t stand pie…not my thing, don’t like pie crust, don’t like warm fruit, not interested in baking them.
So I started doing a little research and realized that making homemade applesauce is really super easy. You need a good knife for cutting all the apples up, a giant pot, some cinnamon if you choose and a bit of time. On top of that, you may need a high speed blender (are you surprised?), to puree it all up at the end, but it’s not mandatory.
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What kind of apples work best in applesauce?
Now, I’m going to tell you something that might not be super popular. Use whatever apples you like. I (and the applesauce connoisseurs I talked to), think that the following make for the best applesauce, but who am I to tell you what you like?
- Sweet Tango
- Pink Lady
Most people recommend a softer apple because it breaks down a bit more easily when cooking, but if you are going to blend it, it doesn’t matter too much. Additionally, some people like to use an apple that will stay really white. In our house, we are totally fine if our applesauce is brown.
Although, I once had a combination that turned pink and that was awesome!
I don’t like cinnamon in my applesauce, what can I do?
Leave it out? Not to be snarky, but you can make this totally to taste. That’s the beauty of homemade applesauce. We happen to think a dash of cinnamon goes a long way, but its not necessary.
You can use any spice blend that you like, but I would suggest sticking with warm spices like nutmeg, allspice, cloves, etc. or just leave them out all together.
You can also mix fruits and vegetables in. Roasted beets are great for this and make a sweet and beautiful sauce. You could also use pears or berries of any sort. Check out this guide for other easy pairings.
Do you have to process the jars in a water bath?
Nope. I do this because I make giant batches of applesauce at a time and then we use it all year long. I also like that the jars are then shelf stable and don’t take up valuable fridge space. They technically would last up to a year I’m told, but ours never last that long 🙂
If you make a reasonable sized batch you can easily store these in sealed jars in the refrigerator for at least a few weeks. Use your judgement. I’ve stored mine for up to 6 weeks without a problem, but I can’t say for sure how long it will last.
If you do use the water bath canning method here are a few great resources and tools to make the job simple.
- The Ball Canning website
- I like these jars and these too
- A pot like this will be helpful
- and a canning kit helps avoid all the burnt fingers 🙂
Tips and Tricks:
- Try to only fill the pot you are cooking the apples in about ¾ full. If it put too many apples in, its really hard to stir (especially in a giant stock pot like this).
- Add water only as needed or you’ll end up with a really runny sauce at the end
- Don’t have a high speed blender? No problem. You can either just mash the cooked apples up with a fork or use another kitchen tool. Immersion blenders, food mills, and food processors will all work. Just go slowly so you get the texture you are looking for.
Looking for other posts for things that taste better when homemade? Check these out!
simply the best homemade applesauce
- 15-20 apples any variety you like
- 2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup water
- cut apples into 5-6 pieces each, throw away cores
- place all ingredients into a large stock pot and cover
- turn on heat to medium high and bring to a boil, stirring every 5-10 minutes to make sure everything is cooking evenly
- cook until apples are more than fork tender (a fork goes through them easily)
- if the sauce seems "dry", feel free to add a bit more water 1 tablespoon at a time
- once cooked through, cool a few minutes and then carefully blend (with whatever tool you'd like) and put into jars.
- if doing water bath canning, proceed with those directions, if not, let cool on counter and then refrigerate.
Want to make these now? Are you missing some ingredients? Amazon Now can get them to you in a few hours, Instacart can get them to you today. Or add them to your Peapod grocery list and don’t be stuck without them again!