Stovetop Applesauce


  • 3 pounds/1.36 kg apples (I use whatever variety I have available.)
  • 1/2 cup/118 ml apple juice (or water) (I use water.)
  • 2 tablespoons/35 ml lemon juice (fresh) (I use bottled.)
  • Optional: 1 stick cinnamon (I use ground.)
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons/35 ml honey (or 1 1/2 tablespoons/21 g sugar)
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (ground) (I always use and I also add about 2 T. ground cloves.)


  1. Wash and core the apples. Cut into slices or chunks no thicker than 1-inch thick. If you have a food processor or a food mill to use after the apples cook, you don’t need to bother peeling them. If you will be mashing the applesauce by hand (with a potato masher), then it is worth taking the time to peel them. (I always core and hand-peel. I also mash with a potato masher.)
  2. Put the prepped apple pieces into a large, non-reactive pot (no aluminum or non-enameled cast iron) and mix them with the sugar and spices, if using.
  3. If you are using honey rather than sugar, instead of mixing it with the apples dissolve it in the water separately. (I put water, lemon juice and honey in the pot first and then add apples and other ingredients, giving honey time to dissolve.)
  4. Combine the water and lemon juice. Mix in honey, if using. Pour the liquid mixture over the apples.
  5. Cook the applesauce over medium heat for approximately 25 minutes, stirring often until they are mushy.
  6. Remove the cinnamon stick, if using. At this point, you can either mash the applesauce with a potato masher (or the bottom of a wine bottle), run it through a food mill, or puree it in a food processor.

Applesauce  freezes well and also cans beautifully. (I freeze mine.)