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Applesauce is not only a lovely sauce that goes well with several dishes, it’s also a brilliant ingredient in baking. If you’re tired of buying it from the store or don’t like the addictives in the storebought ones, let’s make applesauce at home together!
What is Applesauce?
I didn’t know applesauce until I started reading Western recipes. Because in Taiwan, we (Taiwanese) don’t grow a lot of apples, so we usually just eat apples as they are, seriously.
But after knowing applesauce, I started to experiment with it, and I really wished I have had known it sooner. It’s such a lovely ingredient in baking/cooking, especially in vegan pancakes and cakes because it can serve as an egg substitution in some recipes (not all of them).
Difference of Applesauce between the UK and the US
I usually make applesauce at home when I’m in Taiwan because applesauce is not common. After I came to the UK, I thought I would just use the store-bought ones. But after buying the first jar of applesauce, I noticed that the store-bought ones are usually chunky and very thick. Later I learned that they are meant to serve as a condiment.
And also, the ones in the UK stores usually contain more than two ingredients. What I often see is sugar, glucose-fructose syrup, corn starch, citric acid), and preservative (Potassium Sorbate). That’s when I realized that there are two types of applesauce: European-style & American-style, which is usually smooth without too many additives.
Does it matter if the applesauce is not “pure”?
I mean, I think it’s fine to use them interchangeably for most of the baking recipes. You just have to puree the applesauce if it’s too chunky. But sometimes I just want my applesauce to be as “pure” as possible for baking, so there are no differences in my recipe testing. (If you buy applesauce from different brands/stores, there might be slight differences in terms of texture and taste.)
So, this time I’m sharing how I usually make applesauce at home and hope to help you to make (nearly) exactly the same applesauce regardless of where you are.
Oh, by the way, I’ve noticed the spelling difference in the UK and in the US as well. Sometimes it’s written “Apple Sauce” and sometimes “Applesauce.” I think they are used interchangeably to some degree, so I will just use “applesauce” for this post because it’s American-style and it’s simpler for me to type, realistically.
Ingredients You Need for Applesauce
There are only 2 things you need for making applesauce:
Yes, basically, you just need these two ingredients. But if you’d like to give it more flavor, here are some optional ingredients you can add to it as well:
- Ground cinnamon
- Lime juice
Again, these 3 ingredients are totally optional. You can make the basic one first and add the optional ones if you feel like it.
How to Make Applesauce
It’s fairly easy, but you need a small food processor to do part of the job.
- First, peel and core the apples. And then chop them into small chunks.
- Add the apple chunks with a dash of water to a small saucepan. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the apples over medium heat until the apples are soft. Add more water if you feel like it’s almost dry out. But usually, the juice and moisture from the apples are enough to make it cook.
- Once the apples are soft, let them cool down a little bit before transferring them to a food processor. (If you’re planning to add other optional ingredients, you can add them in at this step.)
- Use the food processor to process them into a puree. And it’s done!
Transfer the applesauce to a clean, dry jar. Seal it and let it cool down before storing it in the fridge.
How to Store Applesauce
It’s best to store applesauce in an air-tight glass jar in the fridge. It should last for about 5~7 days. But because we don’t add any additives, I’ll recommend using them as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can “can” them if you know how to do it. It will last longer.
Questions You Might Have
What kind of apples can I use to make applesauce?
I personally don’t like to limit it to any specific kind so I prefer to say that just use what you got. But of course, you can take the taste of the apples into consideration. I usually use Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, and Braeburn apples.
How much water do I need?
I will say it’s also depending on the apples you use because some apples are juicier than the others. Just add a generous dash of water at first and keep an eye on them while cooking. After a few tries, I think you will know how much water you will need for a certain type of apple.
I don’t have a food processor, can I use a blender instead?
We want to keep the apple content as high as possible so it’s not too runny, hence we don’t use a lot of liquid. Normal blenders might not be able to churn the apples well without enough liquid. But if you have a high-speed blender with a temper, you can double the recipe and use the temper to help while blending.
I hope this post is helpful because I got asked quite a lot about how to make applesauce. If you have other questions or thoughts, you can let me know by commenting down below.
And if you’re in the mood of making sauces, here are some sauce recipes that I’d like to share:
- 6-ingredient Gochujang Sauce (Korean Chili Paste)
- Perfect Tahini Dressing (4 ingredients + Customizable!)
- Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce (9 ingredients)
Here are a few recipes I’ve shared using applesauce:
Homemade Applesauce (American-style)
- 400~600 g apples, *
- 45 g water, plus more for cooking and blending if needed
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp lemon juice, or lime juice
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Peel and core the apples. Then chop them into small chunks.
- Add the apple chunks with a dash of water to a small saucepan. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the apples over medium heat until the apples are soft and slightly transparent. Add more water if you find it’s dry. But usually, the juice and moisture from the apples are enough.
- Once the apples are soft, turn off the heat and let them cool down a little bit before transferring them to a food processor. (If you’re planning to add other optional ingredients, you can add them in at this step.)
- Use the food processor to process them into a puree. Stop and scrape down the sides if needed.
- Transfer the applesauce to a clean, dry jar. Seal it and let it cool down before storing it in the fridge.
- *Apples: I personally don’t like to limit it to any specific kind so I prefer to say that just use what you got. But of course, you can take the taste of the apples into consideration. I usually use gala, fuji, pink lady, and Braeburn apples.
- Storage: Store the applesauce in an air-tight jar in the fridge. It should last for 5~7 days. Alternatively, you can “can” them if you know how to do it. It will last longer.
- Recipes using applesauce: Vegan Strawberry Banana Bread, Vegan Gluten-free Pancakes, Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes (GF), Vegan Double-layered Chocolate Cake (GF).