How to Make Applesauce – Two Ways for Smooth or Chunky Sauce

Here are two ways I use to make applesauce. If you have a bounty of apples, this post is for you! Whether you like smooth or chunky applesauce, you’ll find everything you need right here.

applesauce in bowl and can
Smooth applesauce ready to eat or to can. This was made using the no peel method.

Also Read: How to Can Applesauce, The Apple e-Cookbook, Overnight Apple Pie Oats using Applesauce

The beauty of homemade applesauce is you can use whatever type or combination of apples you have access to. Use crab apples, store bought apples, homegrown apples or whatever combination you wish. If some of the apples are tart, underripe or overripe that’s okay too. In fact, using a combination of apples produces some of the best tasting sauce ever! So go ahead and use what you’ve got and don’t be afraid in to add in a few others.

Two Ways to Make Applesauce

1.No Peeling or Coring Method for Smooth Applesauce

In this method, you simply wash and chop apples and cook them until soft. Then you remove the seeds, stems and skins by putting the cooked mixture through a strainer or food mill. This results in a very smooth, fine applesauce.

applesauce and food mill
Use a food mill after cooking to remove seeds and skins. You can also use a sieve and back of spoon to press the cooked apples and get beautiful smooth applesauce.

2.Prep Before Cooking Method for Chunky Applesauce

In this method, you wash, peel (optional) and remove cores before cooking. Then you cook the apples as soft as you’d like. Since the apples have been fully prepped, there’s no need for a food mill or sieve. You simply cook the apples as long as you like to get the consistency you like – the longer you cook them, the smoother your sauce will be.

peeled sliced apples in pot
Prep the apples before cooking for better control of how thick or smooth to make your applesauce. Peeling is optional.

Personally, I prefer the no peeling or coring method when I have tons of apples, especially smaller apples that would take forever to core. I use the prep before cooking method when I just have a few big apples for a small batch.

Both types can be frozen or safely canned using a hot water bath.

chunky applesauce in bowl
Chunky applesauce with a dash of cinnamon.

The No Peeling or Coring Method

Perfect for when you have a large bounty of apples, especially smaller apples. This method works well for crab apples too.

applesauce in bowl
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Smooth Applesauce - No Peeling or Coring Method

This method makes a smooth and delicious applesauce. No need to peel or core apples, just pressed cooked mix through a sieve or food mill. Perfect for a large bounty of apples or for small apples. Suitable for freezing or canning.
Prep : 40 mins
Cook : 30 mins
Servings: 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 6 lbs apples any kind
  • 1- 2 cups water

Instructions

  • Wash apples. Remove bad spots but leave core, peel and stems.
  • Cut apples into even sized chunks (halved or quartered).
  • Pour 1 cup (250 ml) water into large stock pot and add apples. The apples will release their own liquid very quickly.
  • Cover and bring to boil. Then turn heat to low, partially cover with lid. Cook and stir often. Add more water if mixture is too thick or dry.
  • Simmer 20 to 30 minutes until apples are soft and peel separates easily.
  • Separate cores, peels, and stems from the sauce with a food mill or by squeezing through a sieve or strainer with the back of a spoon.
  • Add spices or sweeteners before using or serving apple sauce.
  • Enjoy as is, freeze or can.

Notes

Use any type of apples you have access to. Even crab apples will work.
Tried this recipe?Mention @GetGettyS or tag #GetGettyS
raw apples in p
Wash and chop apples. Peel, core, seeds, stems do not need to be removed.
apples cooked down
Cook apples until soft, about 30 minutes. Stir frequently.
Put cooked mixture through food mill or use back of spoon and a strainer.

The Prep Before Cooking Method

If you have nice, even medium to large apples that are easy to core, this method works well.

chunky applesauce in bowl
Print Recipe
4.67 from 3 votes

Chunky Applesauce - Prep Before Cooking Method

This method makes a delicious chunky or smooth applesauce. Here you core and peel the apples before cooking, no straining or pressing required. Perfect for a small batch or when you have evenly sized big apples easy to core.
Prep : 40 mins
Cook : 30 mins
Servings: 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 6 lbs apples any kind
  • 1- 2 cups water

Instructions

  • Wash apples. Remove any blemishes and core apples. Peeling is optional.
  • Cut apples into even sized chunks (halved or quartered).
  • Pour 1 cup (250 ml) water into large stock pot and add apples. The apples will release their own liquid very quickly.
  • Cover and bring to boil. Then turn heat to low, partially cover with lid. Cook and stir often. Add more water if mixture is too thick or dry.
  • Simmer 20 to 30 minutes until apples are soft and to your desired consistency. The longer you cook them the softer they'll be.
  • Leave as is, use a potato masher to mash apples or puree smooth in a food processor.
  • Add spices or sweeteners before using or serving apple sauce.
  • Enjoy as is, freeze or can.
Tried this recipe?Mention @GetGettyS or tag #GetGettyS
peeled sliced apples in pot
Wash and fully prepare apples by removing core, stem, seeds and peel (optional).
prepped apples in p
Cook apples until they as soft as desired, about 30 minutes. Stir frequently.
mash cooked apples
For finer sauce mash with potato masher or puree in food processor.

Preserving Applesauce

You can freeze or can applesauce using the hot water bath method.

To freeze, simply place in a plastic freezer bag and seal. You can also freeze in a glass jar as long as you leave a big gap between the top of the jar and applesauce so there’s room for expansion. Leave at least 1 1/2 inches.

applesauce in freezer bags
Applesauce ready to freeze. The pink applesauce comes from red crab apples.

Follow seven simple steps to can your homemade applesauce.

canned app
Seven simple steps to can your homemade applesauce.

Sweeteners & Spices to Add to Applesauce

I usually make very big batches that I freeze or can to enjoy throughout the year. Because I use applesauce in many different ways (see below) I prefer not to sweeten or season it until I’m ready to use it.

When it comes time to sweeten, remember that hot applesauce will always taste more tart than cold applesauce. Keep that in mind and consider leaving it a little more on the tart side.

Sometimes, I just add a little bit of honey and cinnamon and serve as is. Other times, I’ll add pie spice and use the applesauce to top pancakes or waffles. Other times, I use it without any seasoning and spices and use it in overnight oats, baking or fruit leather. Here are some of my favourites to add to applesauce:

  • granulated sugar
  • brown sugar
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • orange peel zest
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • vanilla extract or vanilla beans
  • chai spice
  • pie spice

Of course you can use whatever kind of sweetener you’d like.

How to Use Applesauce

Looking for ideas to use up all your sauce? Here are few ideas to consider.

Eat As Is

Yup, just dive in and enjoy a bowl. It’s perfect for packing in lunches and for day trips.

applesauce in bowl
Just eat it! Also great for lunches and hiking trips.

Use it as a Topping or Filling.

Use it on top of granola, pancakes, ice cream, oatmeal, coffee cake, toast, biscuits, French toast, etc.

Or try it as a filling in Overnight Apple Pie Oatmeal.

apple pie overnight oats in a jar
Try applesauce in overnight oatmeal with pie spice for a tasty start to your day.

Make popsicles.

Spoon applesauce into a popsicle tray and freeze. My kids used to love these! Use just applesauce or mix with other pureed fruit.

fruit popsicles
Use applesauce as is or mixed with other pureed fruit for frozen fruit popsicles.

Dehydrate it.

Make your own fruit leather. Make straight up apple leather or mix with other fruits for a variety of colourful fruit roll-ups. The pectin in the applesauce is actually very helpful in making beautiful fruit leather. Try Pumpkin & Apple Fruit Roll Ups or Strawberry Rhubarb Roll ups.

apple fruit leather
On it’s own or mixed with other fruit puree, applesauce is an excellent ingredient in fruit leather.

Bake With It

Make muffins, breads, loaves, cookies, etc. There are many recipes that call for applesauce.

Like these carrot applesauce muffins.

carrot applesauce muffin
Carrot and applesauce muffin.

Even if a recipe doesn’t call for applesauce, you can use it in baking to replace some of the fat.

To lower the fat in baked goods. Use applesauce to replace some of the butter, margarine or oil in your favourite recipes. Replace half the amount of fat in a recipe with an equal amount of applesauce, eg. if a recipe says 1 cup of oil, use ½ cup oil and ½ cup applesauce.

Need More Apple Recipes?

If you have an apple tree or just got a bounty of apples – you need recipes and preserving ideas. That’s why I wrote the Apple e-Cookbook. No need for endless searching on the web. Get trusted, tried recipes, tips and preserves in one spot. Over 60 sweet and savoury recipes and preserves for you to choose from. Take a look at the table of contents and see for yourself.

apples in bowl on lawn
These are Prairie Sensation apples from my front yard. One apple tree can produce a ton of apples. Get tips for picking, storing, harvesting, cooking and preserving apples with my Apple E-Cookbook. Get it in your inbox in seconds!

What’s your favourite way to use applesauce? Let me know either down below or on Instagram @getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener. Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this.

Similar Posts