Homemade Applesauce | Thick, smooth, and sweet. This applesauce is the perfect way to use up all those apples you’ve picked fresh from the orchard.
Have you guys gotten a chance to go apple picking yet? Peter and I started a bit of a family tradition and make it a point to go apple picking every year. I love that it’s such a quintessentially fall activity (plus it gives me an excuse to go hog-wild on some apple cider donuts. YUM), and he loves that he gets lots of applesauce and apple pie out of it.
When I was a kid, we never went apple picking (at least not that I can remember), but my aunt had a few apple trees in her front yard and made the best homemade applesauce ever. I was seriously addicted to this stuff as a kid. There’s something so delicious about homemade applesauce; it just tastes so much better than the store-bought stuff, doesn’t it?
This recipe is really quite easy to make, as long as you don’t mind peeling and coring approximately a million apples. Ok, it’s not really that many, but it seems like it when you worked all day and you’re tired and a little cranky. It really didn’t take me very long, if I’m being honest. What did take a long time is my poor husband having to unclog our kitchen drain after I shoved 5 pounds worth of apple peels down the garbage disposal (apparently you not supposed to do that. How was I supposed to know? I’ve never claimed to know anything about plumbing. Whoops! Sorry about that one Peter).
Once the apples are peeled, it’s just a matter of tossing them in a stockpot and cooking them with some apple cider (conveniently bought at the apple orchard, of course), brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter (to make the applesauce taste even more rich and decadent) until they’re mushy.
I used my immersion blender to get the applesauce to the consistency that I like (because I’ll use any excuse to bust out my immersion blender), but if you don’t own one or don’t want to dig it out of your cabinet, a regular blender or a food processor would work just as well. Just make sure to blend the sauce in small batches, or you’ll risk having an applesauce explosion on your hands (and all over your kitchen).
Now, some people get their underwear in a bunch about the type of apples they use when making applesauce… I personally don’t give a crap. In my opinion, any applesauce is good applesauce, and the type of apples you use don’t really change the taste all that much, unless you’re comparing applesauce made using only tart apples, like Granny Smiths, with applesauce made using only super sweet apples, like Honeycrisps. And really, you would just need to adjust the sugar a little depending on the tartness of the apples you use. I used a random hodgepodge of apples because that’s what we had picked at the orchard (I think there were some Granny Smiths, Johnathans, McIntoshes, and Cortlands). But if I’m making applesauce from apples I bought at the store, I usually just buy whatever 5 pound bag is on sale.
By the way, I hope you guys like apple-related recipes, because even after I took 5 pounds of apples to make this applesauce, I barely made a dent in the bushel we had picked. So prepare yourselves, because this lovely little food blog is going to be overrun with apple recipes for the next few weeks as I think of creative ways to use all this delicious, fresh-picked fruit.
Servings: About 5 cups
- 5 lbs apples (about 22 small apples), peeled, cored, and cut into 8 slices
- 3/4 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (or juice from 1 fresh lemon)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- In a large stockpot or dutch oven, combine all the ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20-25 minutes or until apples are soft and mushy.
- Puree using an immersion blender to desired consistency. You can also use a food processor or regular blender, but be careful not to fill them too full- puree the sauce in batches.
To freeze: Follow directions above, then transfer applesauce to sealable freezer bags (or ice cube trays if making applesauce for baby food). Freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator.
Inspired by: The Pioneer Woman