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Old-Fashioned Applesauce

We had all kinds of apple trees in the yard when I was growing up, so I don't know for sure which ones Mother liked best for applesauce. (Today I use Cortlands.) I do know that her applesauce was very white. The secret, she said, was to keep the apples in salt water while she peeled them so that they wouldn't darken. —Doris Natvig, Jesup, Iowa
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 cups


  • 4 pounds tart apples
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon extract
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sugar


  • Peel, core and quarter the apples. In a Dutch oven, bring apples, water and cinnamon to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from the heat. Add sugar to taste and stir until dissolved. If you used a cinnamon stick, remove and discard. Mash apples with a potato masher until desired texture is reached. Serve warm or chilled.
If Cooking for Two: Applesauce can be refrigerated or frozen in serving-size portions for future meals.
Nutrition Facts
1/2 cup: 122 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 0 sodium, 31g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 4g fiber), 0 protein.

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  • 6Fairview
    Jul 29, 2020

    I add honey while cooking instead of sugar to make it even healthier. The idea of apple cider/juice instead of water sounds interesting, will give it a try.

  • hildeziegler
    Jul 29, 2020

    Baffles me why anyone would peel off the nutrient/filled skin. Also with wonderful sweet apples, no sugar ever needed! Many years ago, I cooked apples just sliced into quarters and then boiled. Then mash through a sieve. Now I have a Vittorio strainer for my applesauce or tomato sauce. Look it up. I have been making delicious, healthy applesauce for over 50 years!

  • ShannonMLeger
    Oct 23, 2014

    Loved this applesauce! Easy to make and delicious. I doubled the batch and only used the cup of sugar. Will definitely make again!

  • lbroadh2o
    Sep 30, 2014

    Simple and easy to make. It is very tasty.

  • LegalSec
    Aug 25, 2014

    The BEST! Period. How something so simple can be so good. I might use a bit less sugar next time but that is all. You have to use the cinnamon stick, that is a must.

  • ylrak
    Nov 18, 2013

    Just like Grandma's!

  • thetanners2004
    Nov 25, 2011

    No comment left

  • Chef Wannabe
    Aug 30, 2010

    My mother used to make fresh applesauce almost like this when I was young and I still make it today. The only difference though is that I use either apple cider or apple juice instead of water. The apple cider/juice produces a beautiful flavor. You will never buy applesauce again.