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Classic Applesauce

"I particularly like McIntosh apples for a traditional applesauce, but using a mix of varieties gives dimension. Although the apples may be sweet enough on their own, stir in up to 3 tablespoons dark-brown sugar, if you like." -- Sarah Carey, editor in chief, Everyday Food

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 6 cups
Classic Applesauce

Photography: Standard

Source: Everyday Food, January/February 2012


  • 4 pounds apples, such as McIntosh, Gala, and Braeburn
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons dark-brown sugar (optional)


  1. Peel, core, and slice apples.

  2. In a large pot, bring apples, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil over high. Reduce heat and simmer until apples are very soft and falling apart, 25 to 30 minutes.

  3. Mash with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor until smooth with small chunks remaining. (Add sugar, if using.)

  4. Let cool, then transfer applesauce to airtight containers.

Cook's Note

Refrigerate applesauce up to 5 days, or freeze up to 2 months.

Reviews (3)

  • hottconji 2 Nov, 2013

    Excellent! I also will never buy applesauce again. Sugar is not necessary and I add cinnamon and sometimes ground ginger. A little lemon brightens the flavor, but can also be left out. Simply boiled apples pureed down to sauce, a very healthy and delicious treat!

  • Coleman Boys Mama 16 Jul, 2013

    I made this in the crockpot and it turned out amazing! I will never buy applesauce again! The only change I made was in reducing the water to 1cup since I knew it wouldn't be reduced in the crockpot like on the stove. The consistency was perfect. I did add the brown sugar as suggested and it was just the right amount of sweetness. I can't wait to try the variations!

  • Bazookah 14 Jan, 2012

    This recipe is part of the Everyday Food Light issue I received 2 weeks ago and I made the cranberry-orange applesauce. It is absolutely delicious !

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