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Make this easy and delicious Homemade Applesauce in just minutes with a variety of fresh, in-season apples. Lemon zest and spices add even more great flavor to the sweetness of the apples.
We went a little overboard at the apple orchard this year and came home with tons of delicious apples. That was weeks ago – and we could only eat and bake with some of those apples.
So – this Homemade Applesauce was next on the list! This recipe is a great way to enjoy apples during apple season and beyond. It’s the perfect way to use up a big bag of apples before they start to spoil.
Plus, Homemade Applesauce is a nice side dish during the holidays. And, if you decide to can your applesauce, you could even give jars as a nice homemade gift.
How do you make Homemade Applesauce?
It’s very easy to make applesauce – and the most time-consuming part is peeling the apples.
We start by combining apple juice, water, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a sauce pan along with lemon zest and lemon juice, plus a pinch of salt.
Next, we peel and dice our apples – placing them right into the saucepan with the other ingredients. Stir as you add the apples to the pot, so the lemon juice and other liquids coat the apples – this will prevent the apples from oxidizing and turning brown.
Bring the pot of diced apples to a boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the apples are very soft and tender.
If you prefer a chunky homemade applesauce, mash the apples with a potato masher – leaving some chunks behind. If you want a super smooth applesauce, use an immersion blender to puree the apples.
What kind of apples do I use to make Homemade Applesauce?
We used a combination of Macintosh apples and a variation of Golden Delicious apples called Shizuka (This is a Japanese apple variety made by crossing Golden Delicious and Indo apples.)
Macintosh apples cook down easily and become very soft, and their tart flavor complements the sweeter flavor of Golden Delicious apples, which are also a softer apple.
But because you are mashing or pureeing the apples once they are soft, I personally don’t think it hurts to add in other varieties of apples – especially if you are trying to use them up. Your cooking time might just be a little longer to achieve a soft, mashable texture.
Can I make applesauce in the slow cooker?
Sure – although it’s much quicker to just simmer your Homemade Applesauce in a saucepan and be done with it. If your heart is set on using the slow cooker, you might like this recipe.
You may enjoy these other apple recipes:
1 cup apple juice
½ cup water
½ cup sugar*
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Few grinds fresh nutmeg
½ teaspoon lemon zest (zest very fine)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch kosher salt
6 pounds apples (we used Macintosh and Shizuka -a cross between a Golden Delicious and Indo)
In a medium to large pot, place apple juice, water, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and whisk to combine.
As you peel, core and dice the apples, place them in the pot and stir to coat so that they don’t oxidize. The dice should be half inch or smaller.
Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered 15-20 minutes until very soft and tender. Our batch was ready in 17 minutes.
Use a potato masher and mash to however you like your apple sauce. We left ours slightly chunky. If you like it very smooth, you could also use a blender or an immersion blender.
Cool and refrigerate.
If canning, follow the water bath canning method.
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*Adjust sugar up or down depending on the varieties of apples you use. If not sure, add a little to start then add more at the end to suit your taste – just be sure to cook long enough to dissolve any sugar you’ve added at the end. We used tart and sweet apple mix and ½ cup of sugar seemed plenty.