Homemade Applesauce (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)
I hated applesauce as a kid. (I realize how many blog posts I begin by mentioning a food I hated as a kid. I do it to reassure you, and myself, that picky children often become enthusiastic cooks and eaters. So hang in there if you’re feeding the seemingly impossible.)
I hated its grainy, watery texture. I hated its unappetizing pinky-grey color.
I hated that it didn’t taste like apple pie, which I loved.
And then I made homemade applesauce and like many things homemade, it blew my mind a little bit. Smooth and almost creamy, thick and not-too sweet, scented with cinnamon and tasting fully of apples. Like apple pie, in fact, warm and comforting. Yes.
It’s the only applesauce I’ll eat. Bonus: It’s one of my son’s favorite foods, especially alongside pork (in particular, no-fail barbecued ribs, tonight’s din).
I feel like I’m cheating calling this a recipe, since it’s nothing but apples, a splash of water, and cinnamon.
So I’ll give you this rough outline, and then say this: Make some immediately.
For another twist on the pork & apple theme, check out the Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Apple Salsa recipe I posted a couple of weeks ago at the Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine blog.
Makes several cups
About 20 apples (I picked up two bags at the farmers’ market, one of Cortlands, one of Honeycrisps)
1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
Maple syrup (maybe, but you likely won’t need it)
Peel, core, and slice apples, tossing them into a stock pot or Dutch oven as you go. When all the apples are sliced, add water and cinnamon to pan and cover. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, and stir occasionally, recovering, until apples break down into a thick sauce, about 20 minutes. Taste applesauce and add 1-2 Tbsp. of sugar if needed (I didn’t need to add sugar, but it does depend on 1) how sweet you like your applesauce, and 2) how sweet the apples are that you’re using). When the apples are dissolved, continue simmering over low heat, half-covered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is quite thick, about 20-30 minutes. Serve warm or cool. Store remaining applesauce in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Ooh thank you Lindb09 for the awesome note. I love that you canned 5 jars & will be enjoying all winter long. Lovely thought.
I made this recipe yesterday which is just delicious! I also made enough to can 5 jars. I will enjoy homemade applesauce during the cold winter months. I served mine with pork tenderloin. Yum! Thanks for the recipe
Love all the tweaks you made Maybeth!
I just got a case of Granny Smith apples. My 9 year old washed and counted every apple. We have 110. We am so excited to make tons of applesauce. I have the first batch almost done, to the tasting and think I may need a little honey.
A few changes that I made, I also added a little extra water. I don't know if it is the dry 100+ degrees it already is or the apples but the sauce is just not braking down quite right. I also leave the skins on so that maybe a factor too. I am adding a pound of blueberries to a batch and a pound of strawberries to the other.
Cindi, I'm so happy to hear that it was delish, thank you for the kind note. Makes me realize I need to make another batch, my son loves some warm for breakfast, especially on a cold day.
I made this for dinner last night and it turned out so well...took me a looong time to cook the apples (honey crisp) at a low temp, but they were perfect when they were finally done. I must have had the temp too low. I added the cinnamon, but no sugar and it was so amazing. I can't wait to make more. Thanks so much for sharing your tips. :)
Well I'm so glad for the comments, I'm glad you checked back :) I clarified low heat and giving a few more stirs in the recipe given your feedback, I really appreciate it. I'm sure leaving the skins on is just fine; as you noted, probably a thinner pot combined with too high of heat. Also, using a really large pot - which would allow more steam to evaporate - could contribute too (although I don't know the size of your pot, just a thought). I hope you get a chance to try again!
Hi, Stephanie - I just read your other comment as well. It definitely wasn't your fault! Your recipe obviously works and I am a brand new cook. :) I think maybe I just had it on too high of heat. I was using a thinner pot than I am used to as well. Oh, and I left the skins on like I read in another recipe because I thought that would be a fun texture to leave in there. Those all could have played a part? Anyway, I am definitely going to continue to follow your lovely blog and I hope to try this recipe again one day. :) Thank you!
I read your post (and left a note) - terrible that it burned and you didn't get to enjoy all of your lovely apples! Let me know what happened and I'll make adjustments to the recipe. Boooo. (But thanks for letting me know!)
I suppose since I commented earlier, I need to send you the follow-up story. Pretty funny...http://drinkwaterkitchen.blogspot.com/2010/10/visit-to-orchard.html
My husband, friends and I went apple picking yesterday. I have been on the hunt for what I'm going to do with them all and found this post! We have a busy couple weeks ahead so the simple recipe just made the decision for me. Cooking applesauce tonight! Thank you. :)
@jelibeann - How great is that? I'm honored, thank you :) And I hope you love the applesauce (which you will, it's just apples & cinnamon, yum!).
thanks for posting...i just went apple-picking today and was hoping to make applesauce for the first time
also, i just realized i have emailed myself several of your recipes in the past, without noting they were posted by the same person...i'm now following your blog - looking forward to future posts!
@Maris: It was a blast to meet you. You're so funny and smart, a breath of fresh air, I loved it. Thank you for checking in - I love In Good Taste, so ditto, big time!
Hi Stephanie, we only met briefly at the conference but I checked out your blog and I absolutely love your recipes and photos. Looking forward to following more!
Looks great. Warm applesauce make a great topping for vanilla ice cream.
Heavenly Housewife - one of the best names EVER, your blog is fabulous - thank you for the nice note!
What a beautiful desert. I have several apple trees and I'm at a loss how to use all of my apples. Thank you for this wonderful idea.
Hi Mary! It really is that easy, you'll be pleased. I hope you enjoy!
I had no idea that making apple sauce would be so easy :) ...perhaps I shouldn't speak so soon but I can't wait to try this! Thanks for sharing :) This has been bookmarked!
@lana: I hope you enjoy!
@suz: I wonder if he'd like...if he'll eat apple pie, he might? I know he's not big on the fruit desserts... I'm curious to know! He's such a little foodie, can't wait to see what he's eating 10 yrs from now :)
@spectra: I almost went with the skin-on version, but didn't want to deal with any processing afterward, so I wimped out. Love the idea though - next batch!
@nutella: Aw, what a nice gift for someone, how sweet. I hope you feel better! Honey & apples are delicious together, that sounds lovely.
I'm sick with a cold and my boyfriend's sister made me some yesterday. She used honey as a sweetener which she liked better than her previous attempt using sugar. I have a whole jar I can't wait to devour!! I wasn't on the blog yesterday but searched "homemade applesauce" and low and behold this recipe went up yesterday as well! Can't wait to try making it myself.
I make applesauce every year when I get apples. I don't put a lot of sugar in it and I leave the skins on before I mill it up so it's pink. My husband hates jarred applesauce, but he LOVES the homemade kind.
You know, I should try this on Scout. He hates applesauce. I LOVE the homemade kind, yum yum!
Definitely will try.
Oh good! Way cool - love the idea of applesauce simmering away in Tokyo :) Thanks for the note.
You just made my day! I adore apple sauce with cinnamon but can't find it here in Tokyo. I'll be making this very soon!