Making Applesauce

Homemade applesauce pictured in a bowl with a wooden spoon


  • 3 pounds apples, quartered
  • Honey or sugar (optional)
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite spice: cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, cloves (optional)

Steps for making applesauce in four photos.

Now, to begin.

Step 1: Get thee to the Kingfield Farmers Market/Fulton Farmers Market Holiday Market… Market Market Market this Sunday and grab a peck of apples. These beautiful Ruby Jons originated there this time last year. I waited too long to eat them because they were just that pretty. They were more than apples. They were plum like. Jewels! As Deborah Madison reminds us, almost any apple will make a good applesauce whether fresh or past its prime:

Fresh fall apples are great, but don’t overlook those older ones whose texture is no longer good for eating out of hand. And include some red skins–they tint the sauce pink.
–Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Step 2: Madison says a pressure cooker will get you send you from 0 to applesauce in under 15 minutes, but if you don’t have one you can start by putting the apples in a pot with about a 1/3 cup of water and cooking them on the stovetop for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Enter my great-grandmother’s sieve. Not exactly a modern-day food mill… but it does the job, however inefficiently, and looks good doing it, too.

Great-Grandmother's Sieve for making apple sauce. Details from two angles pictured side by side.


With a clean pot underneath, in went the cooked apples and out came applesauce without need for any added flavors. No honey, no sugar, no lemon juice. Just perfect pink applesauce. I left out the spices as well to keep my options open. That’s the beauty of applesauce. Is it breakfast? Dessert? Pork chop-topping? It’s all of the above.

This recipe makes about 1 quart.

1 comment | , ,

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One comment on “Making Applesauce”

  1. Linda 16 November, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Jessie May Wingard would be happy to know how well you have put her sieve to good use.

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