Homemade Apple Sauce Recipe

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When I lived in Germany, the kids I took care of took me to a “youth farm” not to far from their house. This was a family farm that opened it’s doors to the local kids in the area so they could come and participate in the day-to-day activities of a farm. They learned how to care for horses and other farm animals, tend gardens, make hay and harvest crops. It was an amazing set up. I only hope that some day I can find something like it here for my son to be a part of. I would imagine the 4H club would be the closest you could get here in the states.

Clean Eating Apple Sauce Recipe

One of my fondest memories was of making apple sauce over a camp fire in the late evening. The kids were all tired from helping around the farm and had picked apples earlier that day. They all sat around the camp fire preparing the apples and putting them into a pot with water. They built up the fire, and while the apple sauce was cooking, they danced and sang to old German folk songs around the camp fire until the sauce was done. The older kids lead the younger kids in both song and dance. It was an amazing evening. Something I believe everyone should experience at some point. (Just think… kids learning, having a good time, AND staying out of trouble!!!)

I’m not sure if it was the camp fire, the singing and dancing or the German apples. But that was the best apple sauce I’ve ever had in my life! I’ve been trying to come up with something similar ever since.

And now, I think I finally did it.


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Clean Eating Apple Sauce Recipe

Clean Eating Apple Sauce

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  • apples
  • water (preferably not tap water)
  • cinnamon sticks
  • honey (if your apples are tart)


  • Wash your apples.
  • Cut your apples into quarters. If you run into an apple with a bad spot like this one, just cut out the bad stuff and salvage what you can. You don’t want to waste anything here. We need to work with “apple-volume” to get a nice pot of apple sauce. So don’t let one bad spot get you started on throwing out the whole apple.
  • Once they are all cleaned and quartered, put them in a pot and add just enough water to get “almost” to the top of the apples. You want a few apple peeking out on top. Don’t add so much water that they are completely submerged or you’ll end up with apple soup. Not sauce (Although, that could be tasty if done right.).
  • Add 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks to the pot if it’s a large one. Cut it in half if you have a smaller pot. Use your judgment here. I love cinnamon and never mind having a lot in my apple sauce. It’s a decision based on personal taste.
  • Cook your apples on medium-high heat until they are soft. I tend to keep them boiling the whole time. But no matter what temperature you use, you need to end up with soft, mooshy sauce when you’re done (apple sauce with the skins still in it.).
  • Put a fine meshed, sieve over a pot large enough to hold all your apple sauce (you can use a large bowl just as well).
  • Pour in just enough apple sauce so that when you stir it, it won’t spill over the sides.
  • Push the sauce through the sieve as you stir until what’s left is relatively dry. Scoop out, toss and repeat until you’ve put all your sauce through the sieve.
  • You now have a nice pot of apple sauce. Allow it to cool and then put it in containers and store in the fridge. You can also put some in large Ziploc bags and freeze.
  • For those of you who are talented in the canning department, I encourage you to do so. I’ve just never been very good at it. So I leave the instructions for that up to the experts.
  • If your apples are tart, you can stir in honey to taste.
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  1. Sanjeeta kk says:

    Lovely presentation for this easy to make apple sauce.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sanjeeta – Thank you! You have a lovely site as well!

  2. Anna Johnston says:

    What a great memory Tiffany, it would be so great to have a memory like that. The Apple Sauce looks a winner too.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Anna – Thanks! It’s definitely an experience I’ll never forget. I miss Germany so.

  3. I just made a batch tonight! My son used the apple corer-slicer thingy to help out! I peel the apples, use MUCH less water, and then mash them once cooked (tonight’s batch just needed stirred to break them up). It leaves the applesauce chunky.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lynn – Nice! I’ve never made the chunky kind before. Maybe I’ll try it with the next batch. We just got a HUGE bag of apples from my sister in law’s tree.

  4. another perk to peeling them is it gets rid of the pesticides on the skins, in case you don’t have a source for organic apples. My grandmother put red hots in her applesauce to color and flavor them, but that wouldn’t qualify for clean eating, I’m afraid!! I cooked the last batch on the grill after my hubby finished cooking dinner. Good use of coals, and dessert was ready after we ate!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lynn – Good idea. Thankfully, I have access to a pesticide free tree. But many don’t. I’ve never heard of BBQ’d apples. I’ll have to give it a try! Thanks!

  5. A trick that I learned at cooking class is to rapidly tap the side of the sieve with a spoon. The speed at which the sauce pours through is amazing.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Paula – Where were you when I had 10 bags of apples to cook!!!??? LOL. Thanks so much! I’ll try that this week when I make the next batch!

  6. trude wofford says:

    I love apple sauce, I made this in my crockpot and cooked it down to a paste,it tastes so good that i use it every morning on my oatmeal with a spoonful of peanut butter

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Trude – Doesn’t that qualify as apple butter? Just curious. I think when it’s really thick, it’s apple butter. Am I wrong?

  7. Renee Bezuidenhout says:

    I made this apple cause today, and at the same time I had a whole bunch of pears, so I made this exact recipe with the pears to…. Oh my word, it is delicious!!!
    Thanks for all your ideas and recipes : )

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Renee – Wow! Thanks for sharing! I may have to give that a try myself. Sounds heavenly!

  8. Tiffany Washburn says:

    I second the pear addition as well. Great flavor! I also leave mine a little chunky. Wonderful!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tiffany – Fabulous! I’ll give that a try next time. Sounds yummy!

  9. I was making and canning apple sauce and apple butter this fall (I got a whole bushel of #2s for $5 at a local farmers market!) and found that a few cranberries are an excellent addition to either recipe! Also, if you use tart apples and want to sweeten naturally, using real apple cider (the kind that only has 1 ingredient:apples) instead of water, it adds a ton of extra natural sweetness! As for the canning, 15 minutes in a pot of boiling water with about 1 inch of water over the top of the jars is enough to seal those babies! Just make sure you put the jars in, then bring the water to a boil, and start the time once it begins to boil!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Court – What wonderful advice!! Thank you so very much! My Mom’s apple tree is going to have a TON of apples this year, so I may just give it a try. Thanks again!

  10. Kmcdonald24 says:

    What did I do wrong??? I have a bowl of apple juice under the strainer! I have pushed everything through and have skins left in the strainer. Did I cook too long. Ugh! 6 apples wasted.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      No, you can’t cook them too long. They should be very soft and mushy.

  11. Kmcdonald24 says:

    OK, apparently it was my strainer. All the “applesauce” was stuck to the bottom. There were “cross bars” on the bottom of the strainer. If I use a different strainer next time, I may be able to get more. But, just pushing, no applesauce went through, I had to keep scraping the bottom of the strainer. I will try again!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      It could be that it was just to fine-meshed.

  12. graciouspantry says:

    awesome!! I’m so glad it worked out! It will work, but it won’t be as sweet.

  13. graciouspantry says:

    Sounds wonderful! I’ll have to try it that way. Thanks!

  14. Could this recipe be done in the crock pot? Thanks for the recipie!

  15. Jill Oliver says:

    Hiya, I just wondered how long this will last in the fridge? thanks.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jill – Maybe 1 – 2 weeks. But you can freeze it too.

  16. Chrystina says:

    Tiffany, I actually plan on making your Clean Eating Naan and wanted to make my own Almond milk and apple sauce for that recipe. It calls for unsweetened apple sauce so would I just ex the honey?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Chrystina – Yes, exactly. Enjoy!

  17. Ashley Bichard says:

    How many apples do you use?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ashley – As many as you can get into a pot. 🙂 This is fully adjustable.

  18. How long are we cooking, here? I’ve had them boiling for about 45 minutes and they’re definitely “soft” as the recipe specifies but still clearly-defined apple quarters. The recipe doesn’t say anything about mashing them so I’m just waiting for them to break up naturally, yes?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Susan – Once they are very soft, you push them through the sieve I mentioned. That’s how you make it into an apple sauce.

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