Forget everything you’ve ever disliked about store-bought applesauce. Homemade applesauce is another animal. It tastes like the inside of an apple pie!
Homemade applesauce is a healthy and delicious snack on its own. What else can you do with applesauce? I love to serve it on ice cream like it’s an apple crisp. Pile homemade applesauce onto toast with almond or peanut butter. Swirl it into your oatmeal.
Layer applesauce between yogurt and granola for an apple parfait and people go wild. The apple crisp parfaits in my cookbook were a favorite with my recipe testers.
Applesauce requires just a few basic ingredients: apples, water and sweetener (see below). I add cinnamon for some autumnal spice, but you could leave it out and/or add other warming spices (think ginger, nutmeg, clove). A tiny splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice really livens up the flavor. That’s it!
I use maple syrup (or honey) instead of plain sugar to naturally sweeten my applesauce. Bonus? With liquid sweetener, you can easily add more to taste at the end, so you won’t risk ending up with too-sweet applesauce. If you’re a fan of tart applesauce or if you’re using particularly sweet apples, you can leave out the sweetener altogether for no-sugar-added applesauce.
I love the texture of chunky homemade applesauce, but you can blend it smooth if you prefer. Since this applesauce is thick, you’ll have better luck with your food processor than an immersion blender.
Bottom line, this applesauce is a fun and easy recipe to make. It’s apple season, so let’s get to it! If you have extra apples, check out my apple steel-cut oatmeal, apple muffins and favorite green salad. More apple recipes here.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups
- Category: Side
- Method: Stovetop
Learn how to make delicious homemade applesauce! This easy applesauce recipe can be chunky or smooth. It’s also naturally sweetened with maple syrup or honey, to taste. Recipe yields about 4 cups.
- 1 ½ pounds Gala apples (or any other variety of sweet red apple, about 4 medium)
- 1 ½ pounds Granny Smith apples (or Golden Delicious, about 4 medium)
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey, more to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Peel, core and chop the apples into 2″ chunks. In a medium Dutch oven or large stainless steel saucepan, combine the apple chunks, water, maple syrup and cinnamon. Cover and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and falling apart, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat. For chunky applesauce, use a potato masher or the back of a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon to break it up to your desired consistency. For smooth applesauce, blend it in your food processor.
- Stir in the vinegar. Adjust to taste as necessary—for sweeter applesauce, stir in more maple syrup (I usually add 2 tablespoons); for more spice, add more cinnamon; for more complexity, add another teaspoon of vinegar.
- Serve warm or chilled; let it cool to room temperature before covering leftover applesauce and storing it in the fridge. Leftover applesauce will keep well in the refrigerator for about 1 week, or for months in the freezer.
Why buy organic? Apples are #4 on the Dirty Dozen list, meaning that conventionally grown apples are generally high in pesticide residues.
Make it vegan: Use maple syrup, not honey.
Make it sugar free: Just omit the maple syrup for unsweetened applesauce.
Canning applesauce: From what I’ve read, applesauce is inherently safe to can in a water bath due to apple’s high acidity and sugar content. That said, this recipe has not been validated for safety. Here’s a canned applesauce recipe and applesauce FAQ’s from my friend Marisa.