The 11 Best Apples for Applesauce

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You can make applesauce out of any apples, but if you have a choice, go with soft apples. They'll cook down faster and get you out of the kitchen sooner. For the best flavor, opt for a mix of apple varieties.

Sweet and Mildly Sweet

The Washington Apple Commision advocates for all apples. But the trade group says that several varieties are clearly sweeter than others, including:

  • Cortland
  • Crispin (Mutsu)
  • Fuji
  • Golden Delicious

Tart (With a Hint of Sweetness)

If you like your apples to be cross between sweet and tart, these apples are for you. And the first variety in this section might just be the best apple for making applesauce.

  • Gravenstein
  • Jonamac
  • McIntosh

Crisp, Tangy, and Sharp

These apples have a bit of a bite, which is not surprising because several originated in New York state. 

  • Braeburn
  • Liberty
  • Ida Red
  • Rome

How to Turn Your Apples Into Applesauce

Making applesauce requires a lot of peeling and coring. If you plan to make applesauce on a regular basis, invest in an apple corer/peeler. With the turn of a handle, it'll remove the peel and core at the same time, saving you a ton of knife work. Some models will even slice the apples for you, which is better still.

Once your apples have been peeled, cored and chopped, you're ready to start cooking them down into sauce. You can make your applesauce on the stove, or you can make it in a slow cooker. Some people prefer the stovetop method because it allows you to make bigger batches; others prefer the slow cooker method because it allows you to be more hands off. Both methods work well, so it's really just a matter of choosing the method that works best for you.

If you opt to make your applesauce in a slow cooker, there's no need to add water to the pot. Just pile your apples in, add a splash of lemon juice to prevent browning, and sprinkle in any sugar or spices that you'd like. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the apples become soft enough to be mashed up. Use a potato masher for chunky sauce. Use an immersion blender for smooth sauce.

Apples are often plenty sweet on their own, so you may want to wait until you've tasted your finished sauce before you decide if it needs sugar. If you want sweeter sauce but are trying to limit your sugar,  use sugar substitutes instead.

More Things You Can Make With Apples

Still have a ton of apples on your hands even after making sauce? You can store apples all winter, or you can even freeze apples!

If you plan to make a bunch of apple butter, pies, or other treats while apples are in season, it helps to pick the right apple.