It’s apple season! Orchards are opening up U-Pick opportunities and farmer’s market vendors are filling up with apples and apple products. Our local food network just held an applesauce demo and tasting day at the farmer’s market and that inspired me to share my favorite homemade applesauce recipe with you! This ginger cinnamon applesauce is the PERFECT treat to welcome Fall and it takes less than 30 minutes to whip up!
Homemade Cinnamon Ginger Applesauce Recipe
Applesauce is a staple in our household. Sometimes the kids prefer a plain sweet applesauce, but I LOVE one with a little flavor. This applesauce recipe calls for cinnamon and ginger creating a subtle spicy warmth, perfect for fall!
The Best Apple Varieties for Homemade Applesauce
You can use almost any variety of apples for applesauce, however, there are a few that stand out in flavor and texture.
These apple varieties will yield a tart sour applesauce. Honey or sugar can be added to balance out the flavor.
- Granny Smith
These sweeter varieties of apples will give you a super sweet applesauce that shouldn’t need additional sugar.
- Golden Delicious
This type of apple will produce a balanced applesauce with a just the right amount of sweetness and a hint of a crisp tart flavor.
- Pink lady
The two most popular apple varieties for applesauce seem to be Honeycrisp Apples and Granny Smith Apples. Granny Smiths are tart apples that make a deliciously sour sauce.
I use Honeycrisp apples because they are juicy with a good balance between sweet and tart flavor AND they make an excellent chunky applesauce.
Find out what apples are available locally to you and use those. Local is almost always better!
How to Make a Homemade Applesauce Recipe in 30 Minutes
I seriously don’t know why I have ever purchased applesauce at the grocery store. This recipe is SO simple and the end product tastes so much better than any store bought applesauce that I have eaten.
- 2-3 pounds of apples
- ¾ cup water
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
- ¼ tsp ground ginger (or 1 TBSP fresh ginger sliced or grated)
- ¼ cup honey
STEP 1: Peel, Core, & Slice
Peel, core, and slice the apples. I like to use this apple peeling tool because it takes care of all three steps in one. A knife and a vegetable peeler works just fine as well.
The apples don’t have to be sliced in any particular way, but the pieces do need to be small enough to cook through quickly.
STEP 2: Combine
Place the prepared apples into a saucepan. Pour in ¾ cup water along with the cinnamon and ginger. If you are using a cinnamon stick and fresh ginger, make sure that they are covered in the water.
STEP 3 Simmer
Put the saucepan over medium-low heat, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the heat when the apples are cooked through and soft.
STEP 4 Mash
Use a potato masher or a fork to mash the apples until they reach your desired texture. I like a rustic chunky homemade applesauce so I don’t mash as long. If you prefer a smooth applesauce, then you will need to mash for a couple of extra minutes or use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender.
STEP 5 Sweeten if Needed
Taste the applesauce. If it needs to be sweetened, add a ¼ cup raw local honey, maple syrup, or sugar and mix it in. I usually skip this step because the apples have plenty of sweetness for my liking.
STEP 6 Store
Store the applesauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week (if you don’t eat it all on day one). Applesauce is also able to be canned for long-term storage.
Uses for Homemade Applesauce
1. Apple Pie Filling
Leave this applesauce chunky and use it in place of apple pie filling.
2. side Dish
Serve applesauce as a side dish to your favorite entree (especially pork).
3. Healthy Snack
Homemade applesauce is a healthy snack to enjoy anytime!
4. On Top of Pork Chops
Add some applesauce on top of pork chops for a delicious flavor combo.
5. Baking Substitute
Applesauce can serve as a substitute for eggs, butter, and oil in many baking recipes… Think bread, cakes, muffins, etc.