Organic Homemade Applesauce

Homemade organic applesauce recipe

We try to reserve Saturdays and Sundays for family time, and this week, visited the farmer’s market to let the kids see all the sights and sounds and to try to find some decently priced apples for homemade organic applesauce.

I started making applesauce last year when we got an entire bushel through our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and now it is the only kind of applesauce my kids (and husband) will eat. For anyone who has never tried homemade applesauce, there is a night and day difference between homemade and store bought (besides just the price).

Homemade Applesauce

Our adventure at the farmer’s market yielded about 50 lbs of organic apples seconds (not pretty apples) for about $20. (crazy good deal!)

This, combined with the other apples I have at home will probably make about 24 quart size jars of applesauce, which will last us about 4-6 months. The apples were no-spray apples and had not been coated in wax and I verified with the farmer that no pesticides had been used on them. I soak in vinegar to remove any dirt or debris from harvesting.

The only other ingredients I add to the applesauce are cinnamon and vitamin c powder. Since I order the cinnamon in bulk, I get half a pound for $3.10, and use much less than that for all the apples. Since I already had the jars, this was my total cost for 24 quarts of applesauce:

  • $20 for apples
  • $4.50 for lids for the canning jars
  • $3.10 for cinnamon
  • $1.50 for Vitamin C

Total is $29.10, or $1.21 a quart… much cheaper than store bought.

Here’s what we did…

Applesauce Ingredients

Applesauce Instructions

Soak the apples in vinegar and water in the kitchen sink for a couple of hours, this will help get any chemicals off. Once they have soaked, rinse well or there will be a slight pickle taste to your applesauce.

organic apples used for applesauce

Cut the apples into quarters, remove the cores and any leaves. I leave the skin on because we blend the applesauce later in the process and no pieces of skin are even noticeable, but feel free to peel if you prefer.

slicing apples for applesauce

Put all the apples in a crockpot or large pot on the stove with a little bit of water (less than a cup) and cinnamon to taste. I usually add a few tablespoons of cinnamon for each pot full of apples and about 1/2 tsp of absorbic acid.

apples in crockpot for applesauce

Cook the apples on medium heat until soft. Time varies, but expect at least a few hours. The house will smell great all day as they cook!

When the apples are soft and skins are starting to fall off, turn off the heat and let the apples cool to closer to room temperature. Use either a blender or hand blender (not hand mixer) to puree the apples until smooth. You could also use an hand mill for this, but I have never tried it.

Reheat the now smooth applesauce to boiling and then turn off heat. Put into jars and can according to your canner instructions. I have been told that just hot water bath canning in a large pot works for fruit like apples, but have not tried this either. This applesauce can also be frozen or kept in the fridge for up to a month.

canned homemade applesauce

Homemade organic applesauce recipe

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Organic Homemade Applesauce

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Make your own applesauce with this simple homemade method.

Ingredients

  • Apples
  • Cinnamon
  • Vitamin C powder

Instructions

  1. Soak the apples in vinegar and water in the kitchen sink for a couple of hours, this will help get any chemicals off. Once they have soaked, rinse well or there will be a slight pickle taste to your applesauce. (This step is not as necessary with organic apples, but I still wanted to soak them)
  2. Cut the apples into quarters, remove the cores and any leaves. I leave the skin on because we blend the applesauce later in the process and no pieces of skin are even noticeable, but feel free to peel if you prefer.
  3. Put all the apples in a crockpot or large pot on the stove with a little bit of water (less than a cup) and cinnamon to taste. I usually add a few tablespoons of cinnamon for each pot full of apples and about 1/2 tsp of vitamin c powder.
  4. Cook the apples on medium heat until soft. Time varies, but expect at least a few hours. The house will smell great all day as they cook!
  5. When the apples are soft and skins are starting to fall off, turn off the heat and let the apples cool to closer to room temperature. Use either a blender or hand blender (not hand mixer) to puree the apples until smooth. You could also use an hand mill for this, but I have never tried it.
  6. Reheat the now smooth applesauce to boiling and then turn off heat. Put into jars and can according to your canner instructions. I have been told that just hot water bath canning in a large pot works for fruit like apples, but have not tried this either. This applesauce can also be frozen or kept in the fridge for up to a month.

Ever made applesauce? How did it turn out?

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Reader Comments

  1. You know, I was doing homemade apple sauce for awhile, but I had to make it new every day. I should get a baby sitter and try to make it in bulk next time.

  2. Thanks, loved this. I found it on the internet doing a search for organic applesauce. Buying it was getting too expensive….convenient but expensive and so I was searching for a cheaper price. Anyway, looks like I just need to make my own.

  3. I have a thermomix and can have 4 apples turned into applesauce in 10 minutes. It is very easy to do in smaller batches. I’ll have to look into your method for larger batches when I have room to store the jars.

  4. I love that this is a sugar-free recipe. Two years ago I told my husband that I wanted to can some sugar-free applesauce (he’s a great cook & likes to can foods too). He said the sugar was a preservative & needed, but that we’d make it low-sugar. Then he made it to his taste, which is TOO sweet for me.

  5. You don’t remove the skins? It looks like you just blend it all up. Never would have thought that. I’ve never actually read a recipe. I just core, peel, chunk up, throw in with a few tablespoons of water and cook til I can mash with a hand masher. We like it chunky and we like it quick! so skins wouldn’t work with that. But I may try your way, too!

    • We like our applesauce more chunky too AND we just leave the skins in there. It is delicious like that! While my kid will eat skin-free, smooth applesauce, she likes it better chunky and with the skin. I don’t know why anybody thinks the skin has to be discarded. Once in a while I will make a smoother batch using the stick blender. But overall we like it chunkier and have no problem with the skin being left in there. If you were to have a baby or young child who hasn’t quite mastered chewing and texture, then blending would definitely be a necessity.

  6. I just got a five gallon bucket from my grandparents’ house and want to make applesauce. I do not want to add artificial vitamin C to the mix though. Is the ascorbic acid just for the added boost, or does it help preserve?

    • My family has canned homemade unsweetened applesauce for years. My mom uses the water-bath method for canning. She uses only apples that have been cooked – no preservative. The jars last several years. People say that you should only keep canned goods for a year. However, we were opening jars (homemade sweetened applesauce) dated back to 1998 that were still good.

  7. I don’t have the vitamin C either. Will this still preserve ok?

  8. What kind of apples are the tastiest for applesauce?

    • Really a matter of personal preference. We’ve made it with numerous kinds.

  9. I made my own applesauce. I tried it first leaving the skins on, and they turned into tough little splinters when I blended them (I don’t have a high-power blender) so since then I peel the apples. You can skip the vitamin c and just add the juice of a lemon instead. Fruit is usually acidic and sweet enough it doesn’t need preservatives. The lemon juice adds a little extra acid to be safe. I add cinnamon and ginger to my applesauce as well.

    • The addition of ginger sounds awesome! Will have to give that a try. If you don’t want to go through the time and effort of peeling the apples, you could try using a fine mesh strainer, if you have one. For us, we just mash the apples and leave the peel in! We like having the applesauce more “hearty” with it being a bit chunky and like the texture of having something to chew with the peels, including my kiddo. If I had a baby or young child that hadn’t mastered chewing and texture, I would definitely blend. But since we are past that point, we do like the chunkiness and texture. I have a few cinnamon sticks going in a batch right now. I may throw in a few hunks of peeled ginger too.

  10. I am sensitive to commercially made ascorbic acid or Vit C. I have come across other people with the same problem. It is even found in organic food.

    Are you aware that 90% is made from GMO Corn in China?
    Ascorbic acid may help preserve colour in processed food but it has no nutritional value (cooking destroys the benefit)

    • Of course, its being GMO will not affect the nutritional value at all.

    • Nature’s Plus Vitamin C Micro-Crystals is free of corn and many other allergens. I get mine from Swanson’s.

      • What is your stance on the vitamin c now? Curious with all the hype surrounding it.

    • This in incorrect. Quite a lot of vitamin C powder is made from potatoes.

      I would know, I’m allergic to nightshades, so if I eat the potato-based kind I feel bad for a couple days. Vitamin C from corn doesn’t bother me at all.

  11. This is nearly exactly how I do my applesauce and my first born loved it! When I ran out of stock he refused to eat store bought apple sauce … too bland and pureed is all I can figure. One question – why let it cool out of the slow cooker before processing it?

  12. Once canned, the jars can sit on the shelf correct? For up to how long?

    • It really depends on what canning method you use.

  13. Do you soak in vinegar if you buy organic apples?

    • Not if I know the source (local and organic) and know that it wasn’t sprayed or coated in any way.

  14. I am excited to make some applesauce! =) What is the reason you need to boil everything after it has been blended? Also-OT but should I be soaking all my produce (even organic) in a vinegar water bath for hours? I always have just done about 20-30 mins!

    • Yes I was wondering too why would you have to recoook them?

  15. Could a food processor work for the blending portion- or would that be too high powered?

  16. I ran across this recipe on the internet and am going to try it out! My parents have several apple trees out back that are just bursting with apples! My whole family is getting homemade applesauce and strawberry jam for Thanksgiving this year! And its ORGANIC to boot AWESOME!!

  17. Love your site! I am going to make he kombucha tea with your method. Thanks for the applesauce recipe. I think I will make it with organic lemon juice. Didn’t know that the ascorbic acid could be GMO ! You’re doing a great service and a great job!

  18. That sounds lovely! I cant wait to try some! I will find the room for more jars in the house for homemade apple sauce anyday!

  19. I am sitting here on a wintry day, feeding my six month old son, while the apples bubble away. The whole house * does * smell great!! I am so grateful for your site, and sharing all your experience, which makes the journey of natural mothering that bit easier for those (like me) just starting out. I had thrush and mastitis a lot in the first three months and you’re site kept coming up under various searches for natural options, both food and household.( I wasn’t going to take thirst nasty tablets they said I *had* to take!) Eventually I realised the recurrence of your site and started seeking out your posts. It’s really a Godsend. Thank you! I am inspired to be part of the revolution in our modern world. God bless you.

  20. you can’t soak conventionally grown apples in vinegar and call your recipe organic. It’s misleading because it is not truly organic.

    • I used apples that had not been sprayed and verified that no pesticides had been used, thus they were organic apples. I didn’t claim that soaking regular apples in vinegar makes them organic, just that I do this even with organic apples.

  21. My apple sauce taste like pickelish or lemony, I soaked them in vinegar over night and rinsed, put in crockpots with plain 1/4c water and cooked for 20hts, blended and I added 2T cinnimon, just now, but still tastes sour… What can I do, o have second batch in crockpots now a d a whole mother sink full ready to go, o usually put brown sugar in apple sauce but trying to stay away from sugars, any advice on how to save this?! And all my other apples?!!

    • Maybe try adding a little more cinnamon and some liquid stevia drops if you want to avoid the sweeteners…

  22. Hello! To start, I have been a silent follower of your site for years; your posts have been quite enlightening and guiding for me on a healthy-lifestyle for my family. So, thank you.
    I have a LOT of North Carolina apples (Florida gal here) and am experimenting with a variety of uses. I’ve never canned applesauce and am not a very schooled canner, but I’ve got the supplies so plan to give this a try.
    My question is: Have you a use for the peels and cores? I have seen apple juice, apple jelly, Apple cider vinegar recipes out there. All but the latter include sugars; I’d like to proceed with as little sweetener as possible. I would love to know your thoughts!
    Thank you,
    C

  23. Hi I have made apple sauce and dont use Vit-c tho I read only store in Fridge
    1 week and Yours says up to a Month .
    Id hate to have it Ferment and All so
    Ill have to experiment ,
    I have a Neat way of creating my sauce
    Were i steam cook apples as result i have not only apple sauce tho also end up with Apple Juice , it is great , and this i fell into doing because i have apple trees and had so many again and got tired of making apple chips and the apples were sitting around getting softer n softer so i didnt want to toss them so I core them slice in 3rds , all face down in steamer and when done i peal skin or like yellow apples have thinner skins so harder to hold an peal to clean apple from skins so most stay together , one big thing im so excited about is the water that is used to steam ends up apple flavored so i add lil cinnamon and Tastes like way better then store bought and I know what i Got . Thanks for sharing all that you do …also the sad part of cooking and nutrient is it kills the Nutrients over 110°
    No way around it ,

  24. I have a pressure cooker. Can I use it in a pressure cooker?
    Do I still have to soak with water and vinegar even if I do not use the peel?

  25. Where do you find non gmo vitamon C powder not from China that you can use for canning?

    • There’s a brand on amazon called NutriBiotic. I’m curious what brand she uses though.

  26. Canning has become a necessity in our large household and applesauce is a staple. I use it to make apple butter, Apple bread, Apple cake and other delicious treats (including great gifts). The only thing that I didn’t see listed is lemon juice. With apples, we must use lemon juice as it preserves the color and assures the acidity for preserving. If you freeze or put in fridge we don’t need to add lemon juice (according to Ball preserving).