Sunday, September 20, 2009

Homemade Applesauce

The air has turned crisp here in the Midwest.

And, that is the signal that fall has arrived. Which means we'll soon be making trips to the apple orchard, crunching leaves underfoot, and scouring the pumpkin patch for the perfect pumpkins to carve.

Don't you just love this time of year?

It also means that the apple displays in the grocery store will be brimming with fresh apples on sale for less than a dollar a pound.

Granny Smith, Gala, Honeycrisp, McIntosh - I love the names of apples. So happy. So fresh.

So fall.

So, it's at this time of year that I stock our freezer full of gallon-sized bags of homemade applesauce.

If you've never made homemade applesauce, it is so much more delicious than what you buy pre-made in the store. It's wonderful served warm, next to a roast and some potatoes, or alongside your favorite sandwich (which for me happens to be a BLT!) And, it's a great snack for kids.

So, I thought I'd post my recipe for homemade applesauce - so that if you haven't ever tried making it before, maybe you'll be inspired to try it yourself this fall.

Here are a few tips:

1. Buy a box of gallon or quart-sized freezer bags. Triple or quadruple this recipe. Place the applesauce into family-sized portions into the freezer bags and save for the winter. Or give away to family and friends!

2. The type of apple you use will determine how much sugar you need. The amount or sugar I have listed should work great for three pounds of any type of apple, but you many want more or less depending on how sweet you like your applesauce. Honeycrisp apples are very sweet, and require less sugar than Granny Smith's - which are much more tart. If you'd like to control the amount of sugar, start out with half, and add sugar to your liking as the apples cook down.

3. Have it the way you like it. I love chunky applesauce. But, many people prefer it smooth. If you want smooth applesauce, place it into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. This is also a perfect way to make applesauce for baby food - just eliminate the lemon peel and sugar.

4. This is a great activity for kids. They can wash the apples and add ingredients to the pot. My kids love to use measuring cups to help scoop the applesauce into the freezer bags. And, tasting as they go along is part of the fun!

I hope you'll try to make homemade applesauce this fall - even if only once. It's such a delicious treat to have ready in your freezer all winter long.


Homemade Applesauce

3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
4 slices lemon peel
2/3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cinnamon
pinch salt

Wash, peel, core and chop apples. Place in a medium stockpot.

Using a potato peeler, remove four sections of peel from a lemon. Add lemon peel to stockpot. Add sugar, water, cinnamon, and salt to pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft and have broken down. Remove lemon peel and discard.

Using a potato masher or whisk, bring applesauce to desired consistency. For smooth applesauce, place applesauce into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. For chunky applesauce, leave applesauce as is.

Serve warm or cold. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon when serving, if desired.


  1. I love this I made my first batch of applesauce a few weeks ago I love it and am looking forward to making more.

  2. I've never made homemade applesauce before. Can't wait to try this out!

  3. Yum! Homemade applesauce is the best!

  4. Yummy. It's been on my list of Fall activities to make a big batch of applesauce and can it since I am on this canning kick. Homemade is so much better than store-bought.

  5. I've got to try this. My boys love applesauce. If only I didn't have to peel the apples! I hate peeling apples! ;-)

  6. Just made my first batch last night-homemade applesauce is the best!

  7. I'm's still quite warm here, but I'm soooo looking forward to the crisp weather, changing leaves, and going to a mountain-top apple orchard next month! I'll be stocking my fridge and freezer with applesauce, too. Thanks for sharing! :-)


  8. Can I just buy a jar of applesauce from the store? I'm exhausted after baking three cakes and a batch of cupcakes over the weekend.

    Looks yummy.

  9. Audrey's making applesauce today in school; it's "A" week; maybe we'll make some at home too to reinforce A for applesauce. :) I love warm chunky applesauce too!

  10. One thing I always loved making and my kids always loved eating. My grandma used to throw some red hot candies into her apple sauce. Somehow it made it seems like we were getting an extra treat that way.

  11. I love, love, love homemade applesauce! I can't wait to try out your recipe! Thanks for sharing!!!

  12. I'll have to try this recipe after our orchard trip. Totally excited to do that with you all!

  13. I'm so impressed, I never realized it would freze well. Yum- I am looking forward to trying this with my 10 and 12 year olds. they are recently "off" applesauce, but I've discovered they enjoy eating almost anything they help make:-)