Now that Fall has arrived it is time to take advantage of all those freshly picked apples and turn them into homemade applesauce. It is very easy to do and you can store the applesauce in the freezer so that you can enjoy it all winter long!
In fact, in less than 30 minutes you can have several containers filled and ready for the freezer. Best of all, it requires only 2 ingredients!
Simply put a little liquid in the bottom of a pot and add your favorite apples. Once they break down and become soft puree them to the desired consistency.
Of course, if you like sweeter applesauce you can add a little sugar to the mix. However, during peak harvest season apples are naturally sweeter and you may not even need to add any sugar at all.
And if you prefer cinnamon in your applesauce you can definitely add some to the mixture before freezing. However, I prefer to freeze the applesauce without any cinnamon so I can use it in a variety of ways.
However, if you are looking for a way to store applesauce without putting it in the freezer, be sure to find our canning instructions here: How To Can Applesauce.
Best Apples For Making Applesauce
The best apples to make homemade applesauce are those that are soft, juicy, and flavorful. There are a variety to choose from based on your taste and texture preference.
Golden Delicious: These apples are sweet and mild, with a soft texture that breaks down easily when cooked. Because they cook down so well they are often the preferred choice when making smooth applesauce.
Fuji: Fuji apples are also sweet and juicy, with a slightly tart flavor. They have a firmer texture than Golden Delicious apples, but they still cook down well. Due to their high level of sweetness, you may not need to add any sugar when making homemade freezer applesauce.
McIntosh: McIntosh apples are a popular choice due to their sweet and slightly tart flavor. They break down easily when cooked, making them perfect for making smooth applesauce.
Cortland: Cortland apples are similar to McIntosh in flavor and texture, making them a great choice as well. They have a slightly sweeter taste and don’t brown quickly after peeling.
Gala: Gala apples are sweet and aromatic. They make a tasty and slightly chunky applesauce with a nice balance of sweetness and flavor.
Jonagold: Jonagold apples are a cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious, offering a good balance of flavors as well.
Other Common Apple Varieties
Braeburn: Braeburn apples have a sweet and slightly spicy flavor, which can add a unique twist to your applesauce.
Honeycrisp: Honeycrisp apples are known for their sweet, juicy, and crisp texture. While they are often eaten fresh, they can also be used for applesauce, especially if you like a chunkier texture. However, they are typically more expensive and will need a longer cook time to break down.
However, to make the best applesauce it is best to use 2-3 apple varieties. This will not only add more flavor, it will also add great texture to your homemade freezer applesauce.
Do You Need To Peel Apples To Make Applesauce?
You don’t have to peel apples to make applesauce, but whether or not you peel them depends on personal preference. Here are a few factors to consider:
Texture: If you leave the peels on, they will add some texture and color to your applesauce. If you prefer a smooth, silky texture, you should peel the apples.
Flavor: Apple peels contain some additional flavor and nutrients, so leaving them on can enhance the taste of your applesauce. However, some people find that the peels can add a slightly bitter taste.
Time Constraints: Peeling apples can be time-consuming, especially if you’re making a large batch of homemade applesauce. Leaving the peels on can save you time and effort.
Nutrition: Apple peels contain fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. If you want to maximize the nutritional value of your applesauce, consider leaving the peels on.
Visual Appearance: If you’re making applesauce for a dish where appearance matters, you might want to peel the apples for a smoother, more uniform look.
How To Freeze Applesauce
- Let the applesauce cool completely. This is important to prevent condensation from forming and causing freezer burn inside the container.
- Portion the applesauce into freezer-safe containers. You can use freezer bags, freezer-safe jars, or even ice cube trays. If you are using bags, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing them. If you are using jars, leave about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top to allow for expansion.
- Label and date the containers. This will help you keep track of how long the applesauce has been in the freezer.
- Place the containers in the freezer. Frozen applesauce will keep for up to 9 months.
Here are some additional tips for freezing applesauce:
- If you are freezing applesauce in ice cube trays, once the applesauce is frozen solid, pop the cubes out of the trays and transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. This will save space in your freezer.
- To thaw frozen applesauce, simply place it in the refrigerator overnight or microwave it on low power until it is thawed.
Ways To Use Homemade Applesauce
There are many ways to serve applesauce beyond as a snack or side dish. Here are a few ideas:
With breakfast: Applesauce is a great way to add sweetness and flavor to your breakfast. Try it with oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, or waffles.
As a glaze: Pull out your homemade freezer applesauce and use it to glaze your favorite protein. It is also a great topping for pork chops, chicken, turkey, and even meatballs.
In baking: Applesauce can be used in a variety of baking recipes, such as muffins, cakes, and pies. It adds sweetness and moisture to baked goods, and it can also be used to reduce the amount of fat needed in a recipe. In fact, I use it to replace the oil in my Zucchini Bread recipe.
As a dessert. Applesauce can be enjoyed as a dessert on its own. However one of my favorite ways to enjoy it is as a popsicle. Or simply take a container of the freezer applesauce and scrap your spoon across the top layer for a delicious treat that will satisfy that late-night sweet tooth craving.
Homemade Freezer Applesauce Recipe
*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures, and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.
Yields: 7-8 cups
- 6 pounds of apples – it is best to use a variety of sweet apples
- 1 cup 100% apple juice, apple cider or water
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1. First, peel, core, and slice your apples into eight wedges. *See the above notes about whether you need to peel the apples.
2. Next, combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes. *See Instant Pot Applesauce Instructions HERE
3. Once the apples are tender, carefully puree using an immersion blender or pulse the cooked apples in a food processor or blender until smooth or until desired consistency is achieved. *Be sure to complete in batches – do not fill more than half full when processing the hot mixture so it doesn’t explode out of the top.
Finally, when completely cool, store in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to 9 months.
Mary and Jim
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- 6 pounds of apples (about 20-24 medium size apples)
- 1 cup apple juice (all-natural juice, apple cider, or water )
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, optional
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
- Peel, core, and slice each apple into at least 8 wedges. We use an apple slicer/corer to make quick work of this process.
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes.
- Once the apples are nice and soft, puree the mixture using an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender until smooth or until the desired consistency is achieved. *Complete in batches – do not fill more than half full when processing the hot mixture in a blender or food processor.
- Freeze in desired portions in freezer-safe containers or freezer bags.
You can skip the peeling process if you prefer. If you like thin applesauce the skins will be pureed enough that they will be barely noticeable. However, if you like chunky applesauce, it is best to peel the apples.
Preferred varieties of apples to make applesauce: golden delicious, fuji, Cortland, McIntosh. It is best to use a variety of apples to make applesauce for the most flavor.
Recipe provided by Old World Garden Farms
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 134Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 5gSugar: 28gProtein: 1g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only. Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.