Mastering Homemade Applesauce, Creating Smooth And Flavorful Applesauce

What Makes A Good Applesauce Apple?

A good applesauce apple is one that has the right balance of sweetness, tartness, and texture to create a flavorful and smooth applesauce. Here are some qualities to consider when choosing apples for making applesauce:

Texture: Choose apples that break down easily when cooked. Soft and tender apples will result in a smoother applesauce. Some apple varieties turn to mush quickly, while others maintain a chunkier texture. It depends on your preference.

Sweetness and Tartness: A good applesauce benefits from a balance of sweet and tart flavors. Varieties like McIntosh, Fuji, or Gala are known for their sweetness, while others like Granny Smith contribute a tart flavor. You can also mix different apple varieties to achieve the desired taste.

Moisture Content: Apples with a higher moisture content can help create a juicier and smoother applesauce. Juicy apples release more liquid during cooking, aiding in the breakdown of the fruit.

Color: The color of the apples will affect the color of your applesauce. If you prefer a lighter sauce, choose apples with a pale flesh, while redder apples will result in a more vibrant sauce.

Cooking Time: Consider the cooking time required for the apples. Some varieties cook down quickly, while others may take longer. If you’re looking for a faster cooking process, choose apples that break down easily.

How To Make Applesauce

Making applesauce at home is a relatively simple process that allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavor to your liking. Here’s a basic recipe for homemade applesauce:


6-8 medium-sized apples (a mix of sweet and tart varieties)

1/2 cup water

1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar (adjust based on your preference and the sweetness of the apples)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional, for a bit of tartness)

Prepare the Apples: Wash, peel, and core the apples. If you prefer chunky applesauce, cut the apples into small chunks. For smoother applesauce, slice them into thin pieces.

Cook the Apples: In a large saucepan, combine the apple slices, water, and lemon juice (if using). Cook over medium heat.

Simmer: Once the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Let the apples simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until they become soft and easily mashable with a fork.

Mash the Apples: Use a potato masher or fork to mash the cooked apples to your desired consistency. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can use a blender or food processor to puree the apples.

Sweeten and Season: Stir in the granulated sugar and cinnamon, if using. Adjust the sweetness and seasoning to your taste. Keep in mind that the sweetness of the applesauce will intensify as it cools.

Continue Cooking (Optional): If the applesauce is too watery, you can continue cooking it over low heat, uncovered, to allow excess moisture to evaporate. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

Cool and Serve: Once the applesauce reaches your desired consistency, remove it from heat and let it cool. Transfer it to a storage container and refrigerate. Homemade applesauce can be served warm or cold.

Do I Need To Add Citric Acid To Applesauce?

Adding citric acid to applesauce is optional, and whether you choose to do so depends on your personal preference and the type of apples you are using. Citric acid is often added to help preserve the color of the applesauce by preventing oxidation (browning), and it can also enhance the tartness of the sauce. Here are some considerations:

Preservation of Color: If you want to maintain the natural color of the applesauce and prevent it from turning brown over time, adding citric acid can be beneficial. The acid helps inhibit the enzymatic browning process that occurs when apples are exposed to air.

Tartness: Citric acid contributes a tart flavor, and if you like your applesauce to have a slightly tangy taste, adding a small amount can enhance the overall flavor profile.

Alternative Sources of Acid: If you don’t have citric acid on hand, you can also use lemon juice as a natural source of acidity. The lemon juice serves the same purpose in preventing browning and adding tartness.

Personal Preference: Some people prefer the natural sweetness of apples without added acidity, and if you enjoy the pure apple flavor, you may choose to skip citric acid or lemon juice altogether.

Can You Add Cornstarch To Applesauce?

Yes, you can add cornstarch to applesauce if you want to thicken it. Cornstarch is a common thickening agent used in cooking, and it can help give your applesauce a smoother, more pudding-like consistency. Here’s how you can add cornstarch to applesauce:

Prepare Cornstarch Slurry: In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water to create a slurry. Use about 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch per cup of applesauce, depending on how thick you want the final product.

Mix Slurry into Applesauce: Heat the applesauce in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s warm, stir in the cornstarch slurry.

Stir Constantly: Keep stirring the applesauce continuously as it heats up. The cornstarch will start to thicken the mixture.

Cook Until Thickened: Continue to cook and stir until the applesauce reaches your desired thickness. Be cautious not to add too much cornstarch, as it can make the applesauce overly thick.

Taste and Adjust: Once the applesauce has thickened, taste it and adjust the sweetness or add any additional flavors if needed.

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