Peel-delicious Applesauce

August 17, 2006 at 11:53 am (B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), breakfast, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, Sauce/dressing)

My CSA farmer emailed me today and asked me if I could use some “discard” apples~ones with big bruises, bites taken out of them, holes, etc. I said sure!

When I went to my pickup today there was a *HUGE* box of apples waiting for me. I had no idea it was going to be so many. So I went through pulled out the worst looking apples, cut out the cores and bad spots, roughly diced them, and boiled them in a bit of water. There were two different types of apples, a yellow and a red one, one of which broke down quickly and the other stayed more chunky. I used a potato masher to break the chunky pieces down a bit more. The sauce is beautiful colored and textured and it tastes great! And since I left the peels in it’s a whole food with all the great fiber and antioxidants and everything. Why can’t I find commercial applesauce with the peels?

The applesauce didn’t need any sugar in my opinion, so I just added some cinnamon and put it in the fridge–almost two quarts of apple sauce and I still have the other 3/4 of the apples left! Of course, they’re in pretty good shape so I’m guessing I can leave them out for a few days? But what should I do with them??

Rating: B+

Update Nov 2012:

This week I made a ginger cranberry applesauce that is bright and hot:

  • 725 g apple chunks (with peels but no cores) 
  • 100g raw cranberries
  • 17g peeled, minced ginger
  • 2? Tbs. of water

Instructions:  Add all the ingredients to a 1.5- to 2-quart pot, bring the water to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.  Cook, covered, until the applesauce has the consistency you like.

I used a mix of a baking apple that dissolved into sauce and an eating apple that stayed a bit chunkier.  The applesauce was intensely ginger-y and a very cheery red.  If you want something a little mellower, you could probably use half as many cranberries and half as much ginger.

This made 725g of  applesauce (about 1 pound 10 oz), about 3 cups worth.



  1. susan said,

    I just bought a dozen granny smith apples and used the apple slicer to core and slice them. I put them in a pot with water and am making your peel delicious applesauce as I comment. Wonder how long to cook them?

  2. captious said,

    Wow, that’s a lot of work considering you have a food mill!

    I didn’t time mine so I don’t know how long it takes. I just kept throwing them in as I cut them up, so the first ones cooked for at least an hour, and the last ones probably only cooked for 15 minutes or so. I’d just cook them until it looks like applesauce.

    You only have granny smith’s? I bet it would be better with a mix of different types.

  3. captious said,

    I pulled some of my homemade applesauce out of the freezer last night, and today I had a cup of it for a mid-morning snack with a Tbs. of wheat germ and 1 tsp. of ground flax seeds. It defrosted very well, and hit the spot.

  4. susan said,

    I made applesauce with Jonagold apples and it was very good. Unlike the Granny Smiths they cook up into a good sauce.

  5. Debbie said,

    I had 3 lbs of apples – not even sure what type – that I bought at a $1 sale. I’m not much of a cook and I’m trying to change my eating habits so there’s a lot of experimentation going on in my kitchen.

    I diced the apples including the peel as directed but put a bit too much water in. Rather than loose the nutrition by draining the apples, I added a few teaspoons of corn meal. Sounds weird but it’s actually quite tasty.

  6. captious said,

    Yes, when I say a “bit of water” I really only mean a Tbs. or so. The apples will quickly start to release their own moisture, so that first bit is only so the initial apples don’t burn before they start cooking down.

  7. Christina said,

    I can my applesauce. I made 14 quarts this year! I have noticed that the peels tend to be very chewy once frozen or canned, which is probably why you never see that in stores. I’ve tried it fresh as well and not been happy with the peels in the sauce, but perhaps I was using a different kind of apple from you. My family loves fresh applesauce. If you ever feel it needs a touch of sweetener, apple cider is a great option. I never put sugar in mine, but if it is a bit bland then I add some cider. I think it adds a richer flavor along with the sweetness.

    • captious said,

      Interesting idea about the cider, but my applesauce is always so sweet, I’m not sure I’d ever need it!

      Regarding the peels, I’ve frozen applesauce with peels in it and the texture never bothered me. I guess it’s just a matter of taste (or rather, textural preference).

  8. Jenn said,

    Last year I was bombarded with apples by my CSA, so I stocked up on apple recipes. The only one I’ve tried is Smitten Kitchen’s “Mom’s Apple Cake” which was fabulous.

    Others I have bookmarked are Sweet Amandine’s Dutch Appletaart; Apple Bread from “Eating from the Ground Up;” and Martha Stewart’s Apple Onion Tart.

    I hope that helps!

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