A tasty homemade applesauce recipe with no sugar or other sweeteners added.
Fall is here and apples are in season again. It is time to pull out the homemade applesauce recipe. Homemade applesauce is the only kind of applesauce my children will eat. They first ate it at Grandma’s house and then could never go back to commercial applesauce again. They can go through a whole jar in a day and have been known to receive a jar of applesauce from Grandma as a birthday present. Another nice birthday present is
An unsweetened homemade applesauce recipe should have no sugar added if you choose an apple variety that is sweet, such as the Gala apple.
Making small batches of applesauce is easy if you have the right equipment. However, it can be daunting if you are doing a large quantity by yourself. Therefore, my suggestion is to enlist the help of some of the people who will be eating it (your family) or make a large batch with some friends and then share the finished product.
Essential Equipment For Homemade Applesauce
When I first started making applesauce, I came across pickyourown.org where I found great ideas for essential equipment to use when making applesauce. They also list lots of places where you can pick your own fruit.
- An apple slicer/corer
- An apple peeler (optional)
- A stove top pressure cooker (or regular stove top pan) or an electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot
- Food mill attachmentfor stand mixer (sometimes called the meat grinder) OR food mill
- Ball Fruit-Fresh Produce Protector
Homemade Applesauce Recipe Ingredients
The ingredients in homemade applesauce are simply apples. The sweet apple varieties are the best ones to use for applesauce. Gala apples are my favorite to use when making applesauce.
Because apples are the only ingredients, you can have as many or few apples in your recipe as you would like. The recipe below calls for 4 pounds of apples, but you can just as easily make applesauce with 2 or 3 apples.
As an option, you can add Ball Fruit-Fresh Produce Protector to prevent the apples from browning. I always add 1 teaspoon per cup of applesauce and never have any problems with browning.
Optional spices can also be added to the applesauce, such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, etc. However, this recipe is simply classic applesauce with no added sugar or other spices.
How do you make homemade applesauce?
To make homemade applesauce, first select a sweet variety of apple, such as the Gala apple. Next, wash the apples.
Then peel the apples (optional). This step is not necessary if using the food mill attachment of your stand mixer. However, if you are not going to peel the apples, it is best to choose organic apples.
A note when using the grinder attachment: I only use my food mill grinder attachment for fruit. I have never used it for meat and I won’t ever. I know it can be cleaned, but I hesitate to use the same dishes on raw meat and fruit/vegetables. That is a personal preference. If you do use this attachment for multiple foods, clean and sanitized it thoroughly before using it for applesauce.
Next, core and slice the apples using the apple slicer/corer.
Place apple slices in your stove top pressure cooker, an electric pressure cooker or an Instant Pot and add ¼ to ½ cup water so the apples do not stick to the bottom. Place the lid on the pan and bring the pan up to pressure following your pressure cooker instruction manual. Cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Allow pan to depressurize. Drain the apples.
** While pressure cooking the apples is the quickest, easiest and tastiest method for preparing apples for applesauce, if you do not have a pressure cooker, you can cook the apples in a regular stove top pan. If cooking in a stove top pan, fill pan with apples and 1/4 cup water. Turn on medium high and when water begins to boil, turn pan to low and cook until apples are soft.**
Run the apples through the food mill grinder attachment on your stand mixer. It grinds up the peel and everything and leaves a nice chunky texture in the applesauce. You cannot tell that the apples haven’t been peeled.
** The food mill grinder attachment for a stand mixer is by far, the easiest and quickest method to prepare applesauce. However, if you do not have a stand mixer, a regular nonelectric food mill can be used. This will take more time and patience. After assembling the mill, add 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked apples at a time. Turn the handle to mash the apples. If you are using this method, you will find it much easier to peel the apples before you cook them.
It is also possible to use a potato masher or an immersion hand blender to mash up the cooked apples, but the texture will not be the same. It will still taste good though.
Keep the applesauce warm, if you are going to can the applesauce, until you have enough applesauce to fill the jars.
However, if you will not be canning the applesauce, allow it to cool. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
What I Used to Make Chunky Homemade Applesauce
I’ve listed some recommended products that make it easy to make applesauce. These are affiliate links and in my opinion are the best products for the job.