Apple sauce or applesauce is a purée of apples (not always served as a sauce). It can be made with peeled or unpeeled apples and can be flavored or sweetened as desired. Apple sauce is affordable and commonly consumed in North America and certain European countries.
Depending on the desired level of sweetness or sourness, many apple cultivars are utilized to prepare apple sauce. Historically, sour apples were utilized to prepare tasty apple sauce.
Apple Sauce Preparation
Apple sauce is prepared by boiling apples with apple cider or water (fresh apple juice). More acidic apples will produce a finer purée; the Bramley apple produces an exceptionally fine purée. Apples might or might not be peeled. Peels and seeds are often separated in a food grinder if they are not peeled. For flavor, sugar and spices such as cinnamon, allspice, and even Red Hot candies can be added. Lemon juice, citric acid, or other acidifiers may be used to preserve color and guarantee that the acidity level is high enough for safe storage. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) also retains the color.
Instead of boiling, apples can be peeled and cored prior to baking to make apple sauce. The same method is used to prepare the sauce in a slow cooker.
Apple sauce, whether homemade or commercially canned, is sterilized by heat to maintain its freshness.
The greatest applesauce is produced using fruit that has a distinct flavor and a texture that is not too grainy. The flavor characteristics of apples can be sweet, sour, or acidic, depending on personal choice and the spices or sweeteners added to the mixture. Here is a comprehensive instruction to producing applesauce; in the meantime, consider the apples you can use.
Apples for Varieties of Applesauce
When preparing an apple pie, you want apples with a slight crunch, which will soften in the oven but retain their structure (Granny Smith is a favorite choice). For applesauce, you need apples that will simmer down and mash well in order to create a tasty sauce.
For a well-balanced applesauce, simmer a variety of apples. Using a variety of apples will give dimension to your applesauce, as each apple has a unique flavor and texture.
McIntosh and Golden Delicious apples are used for a basic applesauce. Golden Delicious is a softer apple variety, so it cooks down quickly and makes an excellent base for applesauce. The freshness and crispness of McIntosh apples make them an excellent choice for pies and sauces. Try combining McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Jonagold apples for a fresh flavor.
Here are some apples and the applesauce flavor they yield.
1. Golden Delicious Apples
Golden Delicious apples yield a deliciously sweet apple sauce. Due to their all-around appeal, these juicy apples are among the most popular in the world. They can be used alone to make gently sweet applesauce, or they can be combined with a more fragrant type to enhance flavor diversity. This apple sauce works well as a drizzle over vanilla ice cream.
2. Apples of the Honeycrisp variety
The thick, sweet flesh of Honeycrisp apples is ideal for chunky, rustic applesauce. These apples are renowned for their nuanced and well-balanced sweet and sour taste. Apples of the Honeycrisp kind are naturally juicy and retain their shape well when cooked. Due to its crisp texture and premium price, this superior-tasting apple type is typically reserved for fresh consumption. However, this kind makes a fantastic sauce!
3. Apples of the McIntosh variety
The McIntosh Apple is the quintessential apple cultivar for making applesauce. It has delicate, sensitive flesh that quickly reduces to a smooth applesauce. These tart apples have a zesty, well-balanced flavor, making them ideal for individuals who want their applesauce less sweet.
These apples typically have a thick skin that is removed before to cooking. However, the peel can be incorporated if the sauce is blended with a powerful blender or food processor after heating. Remember to store apple sauce in an airtight container to extend its shelf life!
4. Gravenstein Apples
Gravenstein apples produce a flavorful, well-balanced apple sauce. Popular at autumnal fairs and farmer’s markets, these apples are frequently available in bulk for preparing sauce.
This heritage variety’s peel color and sweetness can vary significantly from year to year because of the climate. Gravenstein applesauce varies slightly from batch to batch.
5. Silken Apples
Silken Apples are a newer cultivar of specialty apple that is ideally suited for applesauce. The peel of these apples is extremely thin and light yellow. Silken is another kind that is best consumed in the orchard because it is readily bruised. However, as this variety is now more prevalent in pick-your-own orchards, it is typically simple to obtain a large bag of apples at a relatively reasonable price.
The thin skin of Silken apples makes them ideal for blended applesauce with skin. The soft flesh combines effortlessly to create a sweet apple sauce that requires no additional sugar.
6. Cortland Apples
The fine pulp of Cortland apples is ideal for making a smooth, sour applesauce. The applesauce created from these apples is particularly sour, making it a favorite among fans of sour apples.
The pale, acidic flesh of a Cortland apple is resistant to browning, resulting in creamy-white applesauce when the apples are peeled prior to cooking. Applesauce with the peels will be slightly more vibrant. After boiling the apples, use a powerful blender to obtain the smoothest, creamiest Cortland applesauce.
7. Idared Apples
Idared apples produce a pleasant, well-balanced applesauce. These apples are noted more for their lengthy storage life than their robust flavor, making them ideal for preparing applesauce out of season.
Idared apples can be used alone to make a softly flavored sauce, or they can be combined with other apple kinds listed here to create a unique applesauce blend! Additionally, they are ideal for naturally pink sauce.
8. Grimes Golden
Grimes Golden is the ideal apple type for making traditional American applesauce. This historic apple variety from Brooks County, West Virginia is renowned for its quality cider and sauce. Grimes Golden is a progenitor of the well-known Golden Delicious apple.
Applesauce produced from Grimes Golden Apples is scrumptiously sweet, but also delightfully sour and slightly spicy. This variety will be available in September in warmer regions and October in colder regions.
9. Empire Apples
Empire apples often provide a high-quality, silky applesauce with a well-balanced, fruity sweetness. Empire apples are descended from the traditional McIntosh applesauce apple, but have a milder and sweeter flavor. When the apple skins are incorporated into the applesauce, the apple’s vibrant red peel imparts a beautiful pink tint.
10. Jazz Apples
Applesauce produced from Jazz apples is juicy and flavorful, with a pleasing blend of sweet and sour tastes. Jazz apples, like Envy apples, are a mix between Gala and Braeburn that has the best applesauce characteristics of both species. The flavor is sweet and spicy, and it can be used with applesauce to create a very smooth and pleasant fruit spread.
Avoid using Red Delicious apples for creating apple sauce. They do not combine well with heat and become undesirable and inedible.
How to make applesauce from apples?
Applesauce preparation takes extensive peeling and coring. Invest in an apple corer/peeler if you plan to prepare applesauce on a regular basis. Turning the handle simultaneously removes the peel and core, saving you a ton of knife labor. Some models will also slice the apples, which is an added bonus.
After peeling, coring, and chopping your apples, you can begin boiling them down into a sauce. You may prepare your applesauce on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. You may prefer the stovetop approach since it allows you to produce larger amounts, but if you’re short on time, the slow cooker method is more hands-off. It is really simply a matter of choosing the method that works best for you, as both are equally effective.
If you choose to prepare your applesauce in a slow cooker, no water is required. Simply place the apples in a bowl, add a splash of lemon juice to avoid browning, and sprinkle with sugar and spices to taste. Continue cooking until the apples are soft enough to be mashed, stirring periodically. Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to create chunky or silky sauce, respectively.
Apples are typically sweet enough on their own, so you may want to wait until you’ve tasted the completed sauce to see if sugar is necessary. Use sugar replacements if you like a sweeter sauce but are attempting to minimize your sugar intake.
A few parting thoughts
You can prepare applesauce with any type of apple, but if you have the option, choose soft apples. They will cook faster and allow you to leave the kitchen sooner. For optimal flavor, choose a mixture of apple cultivars.