How to Make Homemade Applesauce: Basic Recipe & 3+5 Tips
Applesauce is versatile and a delicious ingredient for various dishes. We tell you how you can easily make applesauce at home and which mistakes you should avoid. Moreover, we have an easy recipe and various ways to combine applesauce with other healthy food.
Homemade applesauce consists mainly of apples, which is what makes it so healthy. Whether used as a side dish or eaten on its own, it is delicious. If you want to make your own applesauce, we have valuable tips for you.
Facts About Applesauce
Originally, the apple comes from the Asian wild apple (Malus sieversii), whose origin is in Kazakhstan. From there it came to Europe and America.
To make applesauce, the apples are first separated from the core and sometimes peeled as well. Then you cut them into small pieces and boil them. The flesh of the fruit breaks down to varying degrees during cooking.
In addition, depending on the type of apple, the flesh changes its color from yellowish to pale pink or turns a dark, or rusty red. This is due to the oxidized fruit acids and the color of the apple skin.
The most commonly used variety for apple pulp is the Boskoop apple, as it has a high acid content and breaks down evenly. This results in the natural yellow color.
Once the apple mixture is boiled, it is pureed and flavored with cinnamon and sugar. Some people also cook the apples together with apricots, raisins, or other fruits.
The best time to make your own applesauce is during the peak apple harvest season from August to October.
Health Benefits – Why applesauce is Good for You
Applesauce is considered very healthy for a number of reasons. However, this tends to mean the homemade version, as the applesauce from the supermarket often contains too much sugar.
The sugar makes the store-bought puree a real calorie bomb, The apple itself already contains enough fructose to be delightfully sweet.
Maybe you know the English proverb: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"
Almost everyone knows that eating a fresh apple has health benefits. For example, if you eat a medium-sized apple before a meal, it can help you lose weight.
In addition, apples have a positive effect on your liver, intestines and digestion. This is because apples contain fiber, polyphenols as well as flavonoids, which are considered excellent nutrients for your intestinal flora.
They also help regenerate your stomach lining and have been shown to be important for a strong immune system. Your mental well-being can also benefit from eating apples.
If you eat an apple regularly, the formation of so-called beta-amyloids in the brain can be inhibited. These are proteins that form insoluble deposits between the nerve cells in Alzheimer’s disease and are thus regarded as triggers for Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, apples have a soothing effect on nervousness and anxiety.
Applesauce, coming from apples, offers the same health benefits. Moreover, it contains the sleep hormone melatonin, which promotes sleep. As a tip, take a spoonful of applesauce about two hours before you go to bed and it will help you fall asleep more easily.
Nutritional Values and Calories in Applesauce
Since homemade applesauce is basically just apples, it is an especially healthy version.
There are many important trace elements and vitamins in apples. These include the minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Your body needs calcium to build your teeth and bones, among other things. Nerves can also benefit from the mineral, as it ensures that signal transmission between cells works properly.
Magnesium is not something your body can make on its own, so dietary intake is very important. A deficiency of magnesium could cause damage to your body.
Phosphorus is also present in teeth, bones and cells and is involved in processes such as the production and storage of energy. Potassium is a vital macronutrient and important for the distribution of fluids in your body.
Since an apple has about 60 calories, you can make the unsweetened variety a regular part of your diet. However, be careful not to eat too much of the dessert because of the fructose.
The following table gives you an overview of the nutritional values and calories of applesauce.
|Per 100 gramms
|Per serving (125 grams)
|of which sugar
A Basic Recipe for Homemade Applesauce
If you want to make your own applesauce, you don’t need that many ingredients. However, when choosing apples, make sure they are of high quality and, optimally, have an organic label.
Homemade applesauce also tastes much better than the store-bought variety. Moreover, you can cook it without additional sugar, because the fructose contained in the apples provides sufficient sweetness.
For homemade applesauce you need the following ingredients:
- 200 milliliters (2/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons +2 teaspoons) of water
- 2 kilograms of apples with organic seal (4 lbs, 6.4 oz)
- If you wish, the juice of half a lemon
- If you like, a vanilla or cinnamon stick, cloves or other spices
Start by peeling and coring the apples. Depending on your individual taste, you can also leave the apples unpeeled and benefit from the vitamins in the peel. If you do so, you will avoid unnecessary waste as well.
Next, cut the apples into small pieces and put them in a pot with water. To prevent the sauce from turning dark, you can add a squeeze of lemon juice.
Boil the water and let the apples simmer for about 20 minutes at low to medium heat. After that, you can mash the apples to get applesauce. You can continue further and mash the apples into a puree.
If you pour off some of the water before pureeing, the puree will be a bit more creamy. The applesauce will be especially smooth if you put the ingredients together in a food processor and let it blend for about twelve minutes.
Depending on your taste, you can now add vanilla, cinnamon, cloves or other spices.
How to Make Homemade Applesauce – Tips
Applesauce is not difficult to make, you can learn it easily on your own. However, there are some things you have to keep in mind and some tips which you can use to make the best applesauce.
To help you succeed with your applesauce, we’ve put together three tips for you below.
If you keep these tips in mind while cooking your applesauce, your results will always be delicious.
With your homemade and healthy applesauce, you can do something good not only for yourself but also for your guests.
Find the Right Apple Variety
Which type of apple you use for the recipe is entirely up to you. For a slightly more tart flavor, you can use Boskop apples.
On the other hand, you can get a sweet taste with the "Golden Delicious" variety. Other varieties such as "Jonagold" or "Elstar" form the golden mean between sweet and sour.
If you are unsure which variety to choose, you can go to a greengrocer in your area. The staff there will be able to advise you on which apple variety is best suited and in stock.
If you live in a rural area, you can also see if there are apple trees nearby and inquire about picking the apples yourself.
Canning the Applesauce
To bottle the sauce, you should use sterilized canning jars. Immediately seal the jars airtight and let them cool upside down. By bottling (also called home canning) you can preserve the applesauce longer.
You can also store canned applesauce unopened at room temperature. Once you have opened the jar, you should store it in the refrigerator and use it up soon. If you have made too much stewed apple, you can also store it in the freezer. It should be completely cooled before freezing. You can keep it there for about a year.
Moreover, you should label your applesauce with serving information as well as the date it was made before you put it in the freezer. If you want to freeze it in a jar, fill it only up to two-thirds full. This is because the applesauce expands in the freezer and could cause the jar to burst.
Combine your Applesauce with Spices and other Fruit
If you want a little more spice in your stewed apples, you can use cloves or half a cinnamon stick.
To spice your applesauce up, cook it with the chosen ingredients in a tea bag. Take them out again before pureeing.
In addition, you can add the pulp of a vanilla bean to the apples in the pot and cook the scraped-out vanilla pod with the apples.
If you like it spicy, simply add a piece of ginger to the applesauce. You can either puree this with the apples or remove it beforehand.
You can also experiment a little with other fruits. For example, you can replace some of the apples with pears, plums, or other fruits of the season.
Common Mistakes When Making Applesauce
Even though it is not that difficult to make applesauce by yourself, you may eventually make mistakes.
This may affect the taste of the applesauce or in the worst case cause mold to develop. To make sure that nothing goes wrong in the production, we show you three common mistakes in the next section.
The Applesauce is Brown
If the applesauce has turned brown, this is not necessarily a mistake. No worries, because the puree will taste just as delicious. However, you can avoid this "optical error" by using the apple slices as soon as possible.
You know from experience that any sliced apple flesh turns brown as soon as it oxidizes. Alternatively, you can mix the apples directly with the lemon juice. The juice will prevent the apple slices from oxidizing.
The Jars are not Sterilized
You followed the recipe exactly, but still mold forms in the jars after a while?
Then it could be because you didn’t properly sanitize the jars before filling them.
You should also keep the rims of the jars clean so that mold cannot form and the jar is tightly sealed.
Some people use a pressure canner for canning. This heats the jars in a water bath, sterilizing the applesauce or other preserved fruit.
As it cools, a vacuum is then created in the jars, keeping the lid of the jar closed. A "vacuum" forms and the center of the screw-on lid bulges inward. In the process, you’ll even hear a "pop" sound.
Jars Not Upside Down
Once you have filled the jars with the applesauce, screw the lid on tightly and then turn it upside down for about ten minutes. This way you will notice if the jar is really tight and the hot applesauce will additionally disinfect the lid.
If you forget this step, the jar may not seal properly and applesauce may leak out. It can also cause mold to form. You should put the jar upside down right after canning with the pressure canner.
Combining Applesauce in a Healthy Way
You can use applesauce in many ways. We’ve put together a few ideas for you on how to combine applesauce with other healthy dishes or ingredients.
Applesauce with Yogurt
You get a delicious dessert when you combine applesauce with yogurt. The best way to make this healthy dish is with a cup of natural yogurt, which includes many nutrients that are beneficial for your health. Yogurt contains many thing including, protein, calcium, and probiotics that can improve your intestinal health.
To make the dessert, simply take a glass and fill it with a layer of yogurt. Then add a layer of applesauce and a second layer of yogurt to finish. Depending on your taste, you can sprinkle some cinnamon and brown sugar on top. Put the jar in the fridge for one hour.
Potato Pancakes with Applesauce
A very popular dish from Germany is potato pancakes with applesauce. Applesauce is a well-known garnish for the famous German potato pancakes. The applesauce gives the pancakes an additional sweet note and goes perfectly with the fluffy potato creations.
As you may already know, potatoes have many healthy ingredients such as vitamin B-6 and vitamin C. Moreover they are rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.
Muffins and Cakes with Applesauce
Cakes and muffins also become very fluffy and moist with applesauce. Especially when making desserts, you can experiment a lot with applesauce. In addition, you add a fruity-sweet note to your baking mixture.
Pancakes with Applesauce
Just like with potato pancakes, applesauce is also suitable as a pancake topping. For example, you can spread the pancakes with the applesauce and roll them up.
Or you can cut the pancake into pieces and dip them to in the applesauce. Whichever option you choose – applesauce and pancakes are a perfect match and taste good in combination with each other.
Cook Applesauce with White Wine
If you want to create a special flavor, you can use white wine instead of water when boiling down.
This makes the applesauce especially wintry and suitable for warm desserts, among other things. You can eat it yourself or give it as a gift at Christmas, for example.