Today was another glorious autumn day. I’m in heaven. For the first time ever (since I have my first yard ever) we planted tulip and daffodil bulbs! I had no idea that planting flower bulbs was such a titillating anticipatory experience.

Tucking those little round nodules in the soil reminded me of a very odd habit I had as a child. Now and then, I would choose one of my favorite items and hide it from myself. It was never my most favorite item but something I really liked, would miss and then be thrilled to find again. Specifically, I recall putting some dress-up lipsticks and earrings in a paper bag and dropping it behind my bookshelf. Since I enjoyed rearranging my room, I knew I was bound to discover them later. It usually worked. After some time, I forgot about what I had hidden from myself and was always overjoyed to uncover my own stealth hideouts.

Today, as I nestled the flowers in for the long, cold Chicago winter, I felt the same surge of excitement. I knew I would forget about the bulbs for the most part until one warm day, a tiny peek of green would remind me of all my hidden treasure! I resisted my urge to veer from the flower beds and dot the entire lawn with them here and there. Had I done so, I would really be surprised about where the bright gems would pop up.

This report of my gardening adventure and childhood oddities has nothing to do this recipe except to say that I have autumn fever!! My friend, a self-proclaimed fruit whore who can’t leave the piles of bruised fruit at the market where she works, brought me loads of apples recently so I took my first stab at homemade applesauce. Since I am trying to decrease sugar intake and keep Mini Whipped from the habit, I omitted it all together. With just the simplest of ingredients, I concocted a hot pot of the dreamiest applesauce in just 30 minutes. Sure, peeling and chopping the apples is a bit of a chore but I did it while talking to a friend and was done before I knew it. The result was well worth all my efforts. Perhaps I should tuck some deep in the back corner of my freezer…

Homemade Applesauce – No Sugar Added

8-10 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut in chunks
I used a variety of apples. Some suggest only cooking apples.
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Peel, core and cut the apples into 1 inch chunks. Put them in a sauce pan and add the lemon juice. Stir them around. Add the water and the cinnamon and salt. Put the pan on high heat until it boils. Lower the heat and cover. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. For smoother applesauce, use a potato masher to mash large chunks.

Serve hot or cold. Keep in airtight container in the fridge or freeze for up to a year.

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19 Responses to “Applesauce – Simple, Homemade, Sugar-free”

  1. Sues Says:

    Making applesauce is such a good idea!! I LOVE applesauce and love that you can totally control everything that goes into this!

  2. EB Says:

    Hee hee… fruit whore…. hee hee

  3. emily Says:

    This looks great! I make a very similar version using a small box of Juicy Juice Apple Juice. I love that these recipes don’t call for sugar – apples in season don’t need it!

  4. Kathy (aka Stresscake) Says:

    Yeah! I am SO making this because as you know, this fruit whore has piles of bruised fruit laying around. LOTS. It’s the last however – Farmer Pete officially “retired” me last week. Very glad you’re enjoying it. FYI – I now call myself “the patron saint of bruised fruit.” More Mother Teresa, less Mary Magadalene.

  5. Small Kitch Cara Says:

    So great that you just use a fruit masher. My mom always ran applesauce through her food mill (I guess she didn’t trim the apples before) and I was under the impression that because I didn’t have one, I couldn’t make applesauce.

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  7. Cheryl Says:

    Hi! I’m new here. I found you while looking for White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut cookies (thanks for the great recipe!) and now I’m already falling in love with your blog! Just want to mention an incredible apple pie made without sugar that the Apple Pan Restaurant in LA has been selling since the dawn of time. It’s their signature dish and is so delicious, yet I’ve never seen a recipe for anything like it. Have you? If anyone has a good recipe for one–made preferably with juice and not with any of the various sugar substitutes (unless maybe with agave or maple syrup :), I’d really appreciate knowing about it.
    Thanks again, Big Whipped! Did I say, I love your blog? Well, it warrants repeating.

  8. Josie Says:

    that looks fantastic…

  9. stephen Says:

    apple sauce is such a memory food. for me like cottage cheese, oat meal, stuffed bell peppers and white grape juice. it makes me feel warm inside. great post!

  10. Kel Says:

    Wow, it’s like I wrote that introduction! I used to hide things all the time to find as a surprise, most often in an ornate little decorative box we had in the living room. And I rearranged my furniture all the time, from the age of four. Shocked my parents. Even if your habit was odd, it wasn’t unique!

    Fruit whore… lol :)

  11. The Purple Foodie Says:

    I’ve been meaning to make applesauce and yours looks so pretty! I’m waiting for strawberries to give it that rosy pink colour!

  12. Julie Says:

    Skip the peeling. Just cut the apples in a small dice and mash or put in blender or food processor. I hate throwing out good fiber!
    To make the seeding go quicker just cut the apples from top to bottom on all 4 “sides”,just outside the seed pocket – should leave you with a about a 1-inch square “core”. Nibble on any extra apple around the core.

    Use this recipe for pear sauce too!

  13. Hannah Says:

    Made this with pork for Christmas Eve dinner. It was so good and everyone raved about it and asked for the recipe. It makes heaps too so we had some for baking and leftovers.

  14. Rachel Says:

    Made this for my family, they loved it! Im sure to make it again! thank you so much!

  15. Carly Says:

    I made this yesterday, and even though it takes me forever to core and peel apples, it was worth it. Instead of just cinnamon I put an Apple Pie spice for a substitute.

  16. Liz Says:

    Just made this. We don’t like cinnamon applesauce so didn’t add that. I thought it was delicious as is, but the boys wanted it a bit sweeter, so I added a little sugar. Tastes great!

  17. Phil Harmonic Says:

    Hello! Thanks for this amazing recipe. I wi

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  19. Alana Says:

    Looks great!!

    How many servings does this recipe yield??

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