Aunt Char’s Homemade Applesauce

Apples on Apples on Apples

In case you haven’t checked out the Instagram accounts of your most basic friends lately (heyyyy), it’s fall.  Which means it’s apple picking season.  Which means it’s time to figure out how to get through bushels and bushels of apples at once.  Because letting a single one go to waste would be a travesty of epic proportions.

Ready to meet their destiny and be transformed into their best selves.

Ready to meet their destiny and be transformed into their best selves.

Luckily, applesauce is here to help!  It checks all the most important boxes: it’s easy, it uses up a whole bunch of apples at once, it’s delicious, and it freezes well.  I’m pretty sure that’s as much winning as a single recipe is allowed to have.

When applesauce is on the horizon, there's no time to go upstairs and get a real Band-Aid. MacGyver that shit and stay the course!

When applesauce is on the horizon, there’s no time to go upstairs and get a real Band-Aid. MacGyver that shit and stay the course!

Of all the homemade applesauces I’ve had in my life (don’t ever say growing up in upstate NY doesn’t have its perks), my Aunt Char’s has always been my favorite.  I sort of assumed that meant it was a complicated recipe, and that it would be difficult to get it right.  But when I called her to get the recipe, it was insanely simple.  Plus it bore the single biggest hallmark of stellar family recipes: it has no measurements.  Our phone call included lots of “until it looks right”s and “until it tastes rights”s, which is just the best.  As someone who never EVER remembers to measure anything when I’m making recipes up for the blog (confession time: most of the measurement I give are estimates I make up after the fact.  Sorry guys), it was nice to hear someone ELSE saying that for once!

Aunt Char’s Homemade Applesauce

  • Enough Apples to fill your biggest dutch oven
  • A little Water
  • Sugar and Cinnamon, to taste

Core and quarter apples, place in dutch oven.  Add a little water and simmer with the lid on until mushy.  After the apples have cooked for a bit, bump the heat up to a boil, but keep an eye on the bottom to make sure the apples aren’t burning.  When apples are totally mushy (I feel like I should say something more sophisticated-sounding, like “soft,” but oh well), process in a food mill.  Return applesauce to dutch oven over low heat, adding sugar and cinnamon to taste.


  • I like to use a mix of different apple varieties; the more red apples you use, the pinker your final product will be (unless you peel them.  But, like, why bother?  The peels don’t go through the food mill anyway, so save yourself the work!)
  • If you don’t have your grandma’s old-school food mill, a potato masher will totally get the job done (though you will want to peel the apples if you’re going to go the potato masher route)
  • If you prefer chunky applesauce, the food mill is not the way to go– use a potato masher instead
  • Depending on the kinds of apples you use, you may need very little sugar.  I used only three tablespoons in mine, and even then, only added that because I was giving most of my applesauce away rather than keeping it for my tart-applesauce-loving self

Homemade Applesauce

I feel like you probably won’t need much convincing to make this applesauce, so…applesauce!  Make some while the apples are fresh!  Yay!  Go!