Homemade Applesauce is SO easy to make. I have made applesauce from our apple trees for decades on the stove top for freezing large quantities of applesauce to freeze.
Instant pot applesauce is a great way to make a small batch of sauce at a time. Just need enough for dinner? Use your instant pot.
The flavor of homemade applesauce outshines store bought every time. You have the freedom to choose the apples, sweetener and spices that go in it. Please yourself.
I will share my methods but homemade is all about your home, your family and your personal preferences. Do it your way and enjoy a healthy yummy apple sauce.
Everything is brighter with a pot of warmed, homemade applesauce next to a pork roast, or stirred into our morning yogurt and granola, over pancakes, and in muffins.
Applesauce can be used as a sweetener in recipes. And it can replace oil in certain cases too.
August is a busy month for home gardeners. Apples harvest is just coming on. We are chained to our kitchens as produce comes ripe. Cooking, freezing, drying, canning… Whatever the preferred method of preserving we must use our hard won garden treasure or lose it.
I usually make applesauce as I’m preparing my homemade dried apple chips. As I slice the apples for my food dehydrator trays I throw the odd shaped pieces and small apples whole into the pot on the stove.
How to make Homemade Applesauce:
On The Stove:
Applesauce can be made with whatever apples you have on hand. If you plan to buy apples for applesauce Gravensteins, Jonagold and Honeycrisp varieties will give you a sweet sauce without needing much extra sweetener.
Start with a load of apples (whatever pie apple you have will work well)
Wash, quarter and core them. Chopping and quartering apples can take a lot of time. I use a handy dandy apple corer.
Leave the apple skins on. After the apples cook we’ll take care of those.
Put the apple pieces into a large cooking pot on simmer with a couple of inches of water in the bottom of the pot. The trick with applesauce is all in the amount of water you need. Start with a couple of inches and stir the pot every so often to make sure they don’t stick to the pot’s bottom and burn.
You want the apples to cook down so don’t use a large amount of water. Too much water makes watery loose applesauce. Really dry apples require a lot more water with the apples while they cook to avoid burning. Every year the apples will have a different water content, depending on how dry the growing season is. So you have to eyeball the water level a bit.
Why we use the Food Mill:
Once the apples are thoroughly cooked and very soft and mushy, it’s time to sieve them. I use an old foley food mill that my grandma Cash gave me eons ago.
We need the food mill to separate the cooked apples from their skins, seeds and cores if your leave them in. (I core my apples because we don’t spray the trees and a few undesirables may find their way into the sauce. Icky!) The food mill also gives the sauce an even texture.
Without the food mill the sauce,(while still delicious) will be lumpy. I have made applesauce without the food mill. It is not so fun to have apple skins wandering around throughout the sauce.
If you don’t have a food mill, follow my affiliate link to Amazon and explore food mills. If that doesn’t suit you, take the time to actually peel the apples before you cook them up.
The sauce is now cooked and sieved. Give it a quick stir and it’s ready to eat! Optional step (required, if you ask my granddaughters) is to add sugar to taste and spices. I love my applesauce just a bit sweet, with cinnamon.
If your into high applesauce production and need to put some up for the winter; I suggest, freezing your applesauce in one quart Ziploc Freezer bags or use a vacuum sealer. Here’s a page of vacuum sealers on Amazon.
Remember this about Freezing:
When freezing, oxygen is not a good thing. Squeeze the air out of the bag before sealing to keep the applesauce from freezer burning. Follow the freezing link for a quick run through on freezing techniques. A well sealed bag of applesauce will last in your freezer at least three months and probably much longer.
Applesauce will also can well. If your interested in canning and need supplies for that try this affiliate link to canning supplies. Our post on canning salsa give tips and links on home canning if you need help with that.
Homemade Applesauce is SO easy to make. The flavor outshines store bought every time. Take the time to make your family this lovely sauce. They will thank you for it!
10 lbs. of apples
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 Cup sugar
2 Cups water
Chop apples in quarters.
Put the apples and water into a large pot.
Simmer until the apples are turned to mush.
Seive the apples through a foly food mill.
Sweeten and spice the resulting applesauce to taste.
REMEMBER ALL APPLES ARE DIFFERENT! Sugar and water content of the apple will change from year to year and varieties also differ greatly. So the amount of water, sweetener and spice need adjusting accordingly. Start with only a very small amount as listed here and work up.
These methods also make great applesacue if you need a smaller batch. Use about 8 or 9 apples depending on the apple sizes.
In the Instant Pot (small batch)
Peel and slice apples to fit in the pot below the fill line.
pour in 1 Cup water
Add 1 Tablespoon cinnamon (to taste)
Add 2 Tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Seal and lock the instant pot. Set it to Manual high heat for 8 minutes. Allow to natural release at least 10 minutes. Quick release to finish.
Now run the sauce through your fold food mill or food processor to make a lovely smooth applesauce
Slow cooker Applesauce:
Peeling the apples is optional if you are using a food mill. Otherwise you will need to peel the apples.
Fill the slow cooker to the fill line with your chopped apples.
Add 1/2 Cup water (or more depending on juiciness of the apples)
Add 1 Tablespoon cinnamon (to taste)
Add 2 Tablespoons sugar (to taste)
Add 1 tsp. Lemon Juice
Cover and cook on high setting for four hours stirring occasionally until the apples cook down. Sieve through a food mill or food processor until smooth.
Looked at the apple filled food-mill. My mind filled with scent and cranking sounds. I skip the sugar and drop a few raisins in when served.
Monday 1st of October 2018
Hi Richard, So GOOD to hear from you! Thanks for the recipe tips. I agree raisins make a good sweetener for applesauce. With sweet enough apples no sugar is needed at all. Happy Fall!
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