What’s better than homemade applesauce? Photo by David Smith | Fotolia.




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June 2011
Updated January 2018

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Fruits

Homemade Applesauce Recipe

Homemade Beats Store-Bought Applesauce Every Time!




While apples have been added to dishes since ancient times, medieval European cooks are believed to be the first to make apple sauces and related recipes, such as stewed apples and apple pudding.

Depending upon the food they accompanied, apple sauce could be tart or sweet.


According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the first extant print citation of the word “applesause” is in Eliza Smith’s Compleat Housewife, 9th edition, [London:1739]. The recipe is often found in 18th century British and American cookbooks, confirming the popularity of the dish.


While it began life as a side dish, applesauce has found its way into baking (cakes, cookies, muffins) and as a solo dessert, topped with a bit of cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

This recipe, from Joan Hochman, retains the skin of the apple, so that its nutrients and color enhance the dish. The applesauce is pressed from the skin and the core using a food mill for the ideal consistency. She didn’t like the consistency from a food processor.

If you don’t have a food mill or a food processor, you can peel and pare the apples before cooking and mash with a fork. The consistency will be less smooth, and you’ll lose the flavor and color from the skin; but it will still be delicious.


Applesauce Recipe Ingredients


  • 8 tart apples such as McIntosh, washed and quartered
    (do not peel or pare)
  • 1/4 cup water or more as needed
  • Dash salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or maple syrup, or 1 tablespoon agave nectar
    (sweeten to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    (NOTE: If you are using the applesauce in a cake recipe or other recipe
    that contains cinnamon, omit the cinnamon in one of the recipes)



  1. Combine apples and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Use just enough water to keep apples from burning.
  2. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very soft and falling apart, about 30 minutes.
  3. Process through a food mill. Add a dash of salt; then sweeten to taste.
  4. If you aren’t using a food mill, mash the apples with a fork.


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