There is nothing better than homemade applesauce with hand-picked apples, and it is so easy to do! If you want chunky applesauce, use a potato masher to mash the cooked apples. If you prefer smooth apple sauce, run the cooked apples through a food mill. The key is adding a few strips of lemon peel to the apples while cooking. The lemon heightens the apple flavor. Make sure you use a good cooking apple like Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonathan, Mcintosh, or Gravenstein. Ready to serve as soon as you're done, either hot or refrigerated. Delicious with vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt. Freezes easily, lasts up to one year in a cold freezer.

Recipe Summary

15 mins
25 mins
40 mins
5 quarts


Original recipe yields 20 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Stir apples, water, brown sugar, white sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, lemon zest, and salt together in a large pot. Place a cover on the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the apples are soft, 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Remove pot from heat. Remove and discard cinnamon stick and lemon zest strips. Mash apples with a potato masher.

Nutrition Facts

63 calories; protein 0.2g 1% DV; carbohydrates 16.6g 5% DV; fat 0.1g; cholesterol 0mg; sodium 60.1mg 2% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (40)

Read More Reviews
45 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 42
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
This also works out well in the crockpot. Just throw everything in the crockpot leave it for most of the day and by the time you go to fish out the cinnamon sticks/lemon peel, it pretty much is ready to go. All you have to do is run a hand blender or potato masher slightly. DOUBLES WELL. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Love this applesauce! I put everything in a slow cooker on high and in 3 hours it was done. I have little ones so I used the hand blender to smooth out what little bumps were left. DELICIOUS! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made a large quantity of this recipe with 20 pounds of MacIntosh apples. I left out the lemon zest (my preference only) and decreased the sugar just a bit. It is deliciously sweet with a little lemony zip from the juice and the tartness of the apples still comes through. Rather than freezing I chose to can mine in small jars with two servings each. It is a beautiful consistency and texture. Thank you I have found my applesauce recipe! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made this in my instapot, cooked on vegetable setting for 8 minutes and used immersion blender to mash. My husband's new favorite applesauce! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Loved how this turned out. I put the ingredients in a crock pot for three hours on high. Ran my immersion blender through to make it smooth and it's ready for the freezer. I only used the brown sugar didn't add the white sugar. I believe the fresh lemon juice and zest is key. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Made this as gifts for Christmas 2013 and four months later my family is still asking for more! My 1 1/2 year old nephew kept saying "Mmmmmmm more apple!" and kept licking the spoon. There's no better review in my book than that :) The lemon peels are the key to success for this recipe! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This recipe reminds people how much they love apple sauce. I left out the lemon zest (no lemon on hand) and because I had used sweet apples I almost halved the sugar according to my taste. I left it a bit chunky too! Saving this one to make for years to come. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This is an awesome recipe! I added nutmeg and used green apples from my tree in the backyard! This will be a wonderful addition to my kids schools lunches! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I just finished making it and the house smells wonderful. Of course I had to lick the spatula after the last stir and.... yummmm. I cut the recipe to make about 1 quart, enough for two meals. Our Mac tree is very "giving" this year and I know there will be a lot of applesauce in the freezer. Thanks for the recipe robcrow and thank you for the crockpot idea Sarah Jo! Read More