How to Freeze Applesauce
Apple season is just getting good so head to your local farmers’ market, produce stand, or apple orchard and get in on this year’s harvest.
With our apple haul, we do four things: eat, bake, and can and freeze applesauce.
We eat apples fresh until the thought of eating another apple in January is like the thought of picking another zucchini in August. If the “apple a day” motto is accurate, then we are in good shape.
I also bake several apple pies or crisps. When my husband walks through the door after a long day or the bathtub faucet is leaking or I accidentally run over something with the car that should not have been run over, I soften the blow by casually mentioning, “Oh, by the way, I baked an apple pie today.” His eyes light up, and everything that happened before that sentence is forgotten. Trust me, it is like magic. I speak from experience. When I’m in a tight spot, I just whip out an apple pie. Make sure you check out our Simple Fruit Pie from Scratch tutorial.
If you do not consider yourself a baker, then buy a pre-made crust in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. I used to do this when I worked full-time; the crusts are easy to assemble and don’t taste half bad either.
I have also started canning applesauce at our readers’ suggestion. Check out our step-by-step how to can applesauce guide here.
Finally, freezing applesauce. My little family of four goes through a crazy amount of applesauce. I like to keep our freezer stocked with the homemade stuff because it is super simple to make, and it tastes better than anything you’ll find on the grocery store shelves (see below).
This year, I bought a Norpro AppleMate 2 Apple Peeler (Amazon). This baby attaches to your countertop and peels, slices, and cores the apples with the crank of the handle. Growing up, my mom had one of these. We just called it the Apple-Peeler-Slicer-Corer. Creative, I know.
I have no idea why it took me so long to get one of my own. They are a brilliant little invention and money well-spent because they are such a huge time saver. Even my toddler got in on the action, cranking out spirals of peeled apples. If you have the time and patience, it’s a great way for little hands to help out.
We used Gravenstein apples because they are a soft variety so they break down quickly as they cook. Simply toss the peeled, cored, cut apples into a large pot. Add enough water to keep the apples from scorching on the bottom. It doesn’t take much liquid because the apples will give off quite a bit of their own as they cook. You can always stir and check, adding water as needed.
Let the apples simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. I cook and stir the apples for around 30-45 minutes, giving them more time to break down because I like a smoother applesauce. If you like it perfectly smooth, you could even run it through a blender, food mill, or food processor.
For chunkier applesauce, remove it from the heat a bit sooner or mix in other firmer apple varieties that won’t cook down as easily.
This year I froze several small bags of unsweetened applesauce to use as baby food and as an oil-substitute for baking. I sweetened the rest with some sugar to taste. You could use the sweetener of your choice. I keep the ingredients pretty simple, but you could also add some cinnamon or other spices, if desired.
You can freeze the applesauce in freezer bags, plastic storage containers (like Ziploc or Rubbermaid), or in ice cube trays if you’re making it for a baby.
Looking for more delicious ways to preserve produce?
Check out our Canning Applesauce Step-By-Step Guide here.
Make sure you also check out our other preserving and canning posts here.
- Canning for Beginners FAQ’s
- Canning Peach Vanilla Bean Jam
- Canning Peaches
- Canning Tomatoes
- Water Bath Canning Guide
- Water Bath Canning Equipment
- How to Can Pears
- How to Can Apple Pie Filling
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JoyDee McCorkle says
I HAVE MADE FREEZER APPLESAUCE FOR 30 YEARS. I FILL A LARGE BOWL WITH PEELED, CORED AND SLICED APPLES. ADD 1 CUP OF WATER OR APPLE CIDER. COVER AND MICROWAVE FOR 15 MINUTES. CHECK CONSISTENCY TO YOUR PREFERENCE. I USE AN EMULSIFIER IF NECESSARY. WE PREFER CHUNKIER THAN SMOOTH SAUCE. I ADD SUGAR AND CINNAMON TO TASTE. SOMETIMES I ADD RED HOT CANDIES FOR SPICE AND COLOR. I PACK FLATTENED ZIP LOCK BAGS AND STACK IN FREEZER. THIS IS THE FRESHEST AND MOST DELICIOUS SAUCE EVER.
Hi Angela, so happy I found your website. My question is “if I want to freeze applesauce in canning jars instead of going thru the canning process, is that ok? I have several pint size canning jars and would like to use them. Thanks for your advice. Margaret
JoyDee McCorkle says
I AM NOT ANGELA BUT YES…YOU CAN FREEZE APPLESAUCE IN JARS. I PREFER FREEZING MINE IN FLATTENED ZIPLOC BAGS TO SAVE SPACE IN FREEZER AND LESS CLEANING OF JARS.
Patti Pomal says
Instead of mason jars would a foodsaver do the job? Mine has the pulse action. Also can you use honey as a replacement for sugar & freeze thanks Patti
Jo Annette Sieve says
A simple way to make applesauce or butter is put them in the crock pot before you go to bed. Next morning it will be done!
The most delicious applesauce is made with candy red hots. It beats plain all to pieces!
suzann northup says
My grandmother used to make applesauce with candy red hots! I’ve looked for a recipe for years. How much candy do you add for the large crock pot??
JoyDee McCorkle says
I KEEP ADDING THE RED HOTS UNTIL THE SAUCE IS PINK. THE CANDIES REPLACE SUGAR. I COOK MY APPLES IN A LARGE BOWL THAT FITS IN MICROWAVE. ADD A LITTLE WATER TO THE BOWL, COVER AND COOK ON HIGH FOR 11-20 MINUTES. SWEETEN TO YOUR TASTE. PACK INTO ZIPLOCKS, SOME PINT AND SOME QUART SIZE. SO FRESH & TASTY!
I too do most of the things you mention. I make apple pie filling and can it also for later. But the most important thing I do is make apple cider vinegar from the peels, cores, etc. Its wonderful and ALL the apple gets used.
Gary J. Mion says
There is a wonderful u-pick apple orchard here in Northwest Indiana and we go apple picking every fall. I have quite a few more apples than we can eat this year, so this freezer applesauce is the perfect solution. By the way, we always pick a number of pie apples, too. I peel, core and coarsely chop them, add in my sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and tapioca and then freeze them in freezer bags. I put just enough apples in each bag to make one pie. Then, when I want to bake a pie, I just thaw out a bag and turn it out into a pie crust. Put the top crust on and cut a few slits and, boom, you’ve got a pie!
How long can you freeze the apple sauce for??
Angela Davis says
Janet: I think 6 months.
This was a great help! And kove the idea of having pies and crisps frozen too Thanks