Recipes/ Side Dish/ Super Simple

Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce

18/05/2020
 

Unsweetened applesauce is here to spice up your holidays. Think tart green apples blended with a hint of lemon and sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum. Slather your homemade applesauce over savoury roast pork or bake it into sweet dishes like apple cakes, pies or muffins.

Bowl with applesauce and spoon, with fresh apples in the background.

Why We Love This Recipe

There’s always somewhere or something you can use applesauce with. We love baking it in sweets and desserts, while others love to serve it alongside a big roast pork at Christmas time.

Being able to use up all the apples in the fruit bowl is ideal for those that don’t like food waste, and then being able to batch and freeze the result is an added bonus.

 

Close up of applesauce in a saucepan with a wooden spoon.

What is applesauce? 

Applesauce is most simply slow cooked or stewed apples. Its use however, is anything but simple.

Originating in Europe, there isn’t a lot of history on the dish, apart from serving it alongside meats as a condiment. It can also be made into an entire meal such as homemade baby food, or a filling for desserts like Apple Crumble or Spiced Apple Cake.

More recently, unsweetened applesauce has become a popular substitute in vegan and healthy cooking as a replacement for anything from egg to sugar.

What You’ll Need

If you have an abundance of apples, this is a great way to use them up and add to all sorts of desserts and side dishes. The other main things to have on hand are cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice.

Ingredients for making applesauce.

How to make Unsweetened Applesauce:

Pop your apple pieces into a large saucepan along with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil (it won’t take long), then reduce the heat to a nice simmer.

Saucepan with chopped green apples ready to cook.

Add your spices and give it a good stir. Let them simmer and fill your house with that delicious fragrance until the apple pieces have softened nicely.

Mashing apples into applesauce with a wooden spoon.

Add more water as required, you may need another 2-6 tablespoons as it softens. Mix and mash with a spoon or fork until nice and smooth.

Applesauce slowly simmering in a saucepan.

Serve hot or cold, over savoury roasts or sweet desserts. Enjoy!

Cook’s Tips

  • Use green Granny Smith apples for a more tart result, or red varieties such as Pink Lady or Gala for sweeter notes.
  • Cut the apples into smaller chunks for quicker cooking and to make it easier if you want a smooth sauce.
  • If you want a sweeter result, halve the lemon juice.
  • Store your apple sauce in a clean, sterilised jar in the fridge (up to 1 month) or freezer (up to 2 months).

FAQs

How do you stop applesauce from sticking while cooking?

Use the combination of low to medium heat while adding more water only as the apples need it. You’ll notice a difference in the sound, as the apples will start to ‘sizzle’ louder once the water has evaporated. This is the perfect time to add another couple of tablespoons of water. Adding the water not only prevents sticking but helps to steam and soften the apples into the sauce.

What are the best uses for chunky vs smooth applesauce?

Chunky lends itself well to baking in pies and crumbles (or crisps), whereas smooth applesauce is great for using in cakes and muffins when you want the sauce more for taste than texture. When using as a sauce for meats, it’s completely up to you how you’d like to serve it.

What can you use unsweetened applesauce as a substitute for?

Applesauce that’s unsweetened is particularly versatile when it comes to cooking, being used as a substitute for everything from eggs, sugar, butter and even oil.

This makes it fantastic to have on hand in the fridge or freezer for vegans or health aficionados wanting to get their baking game on. 

Can you freeze applesauce?

Yes, so if you make a batch, portion it out and pop it straight into the ice box!

Variations & Substitutes

  • Use the applesauce as a substitute for egg, butter, oil or a sugar replacement.
  • If you prefer no skins, you can take the skins off before boiling the apples.

Chunky applesauce with skin on in a white bowl.

Need ideas to use up your applesauce? Try these:

 

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Close up of chunky applesauce with skin on.

Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce

Unsweetened applesauce is here to spice up your holidays. Think tart green apples blended with a hint of lemon and sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum. Slather your homemade applesauce over savoury roast pork or bake it into sweet dishes like apple cakes, pies or muffins.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Wandercooks Creations
Servings: 1 jar
Calories: 388kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pop your apple pieces into a large saucepan along with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil (it won't take long), then reduce the heat to a nice simmer.
  • Add your spices and give it a good stir. Let them simmer and fill your house with that delicious fragrance until the apple pieces have softened nicely. Add more water as required, you may need another 2-6 tablespoons as it softens. Mix and mash with a spoon or fork until nice and smooth.
  • Serve hot or cold, over savoury roasts or sweet desserts. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Cook's Tips
  • Use green Granny Smith apples for a more tart result, or red varieties such as Pink Lady or Gala for sweeter notes.
  • Cut the apples into smaller chunks for quicker cooking and to make it easier if you want a smooth sauce.
  • If you want a sweeter result, halve the lemon juice.
  • Store your apple sauce in a clean, sterilised jar in the fridge (up to 1 month) or freezer (up to 2 months).
FAQs
  • How do you stop applesauce from sticking while cooking? Use the combination of low to medium heat while adding more water only as the apples need it. You'll notice a difference in the sound, as the apples will start to 'sizzle' louder once the water has evaporated. This is the perfect time to add another couple of tablespoons of water. Adding the water not only prevents sticking but helps to steam and soften the apples into the sauce.
  • What are the best uses for chunky vs smooth applesauce? Chunky lends itself well to baking in pies and crumbles (or crisps), whereas smooth applesauce is great for using in cakes and muffins when you want the sauce more for taste than texture. When using as a sauce for meats, it's completely up to you how you'd like to serve it.
  • What can you use unsweetened applesauce as a substitute for? Applesauce that's unsweetened is particularly versatile when it comes to cooking, being used as a substitute for everything from eggs, sugar, butter and even oil. This makes it fantastic to have on hand in the fridge or freezer for vegans or health aficionados wanting to get their baking game on. 
  • Can you freeze applesauce? Yes, so if you make a batch, portion it out and pop it straight into the ice box!
Variations & Substitutes
  • Use the applesauce as a substitute for egg, butter, oil or a sugar replacement.
  • If you prefer no skins, you can take the skins off before boiling the apples.

Nutrition

Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 779mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 76g | Vitamin A: 393IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

 

Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce

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