Old Fashioned Granny Smith Applesauce (Parve)

Granny Smith Applesauce
© Miri Rotkovitz
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
135 Calories
1g Fat
36g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Protein 1g
Calcium 21mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Susan Portman may be an artist by trade, but Giora Shimoni is equally enamored of her talent in the kitchen. Here, she shares her mother's special applesauce recipe. Shimoni explains that "her mother's secret was to cook the apple peels and cores in water to make a nice apple juice," which she'd then strain, and use as a cooking liquid to make the applesauce. Portman opts for bottled apple juice instead, a shortcut which she discovered would yield the same delicious results. 

Miri's Recipe Testing Notes and Tips

If you don't have apple juice on hand, water works nicely as well. 

If you make the original version of this recipe, it's a good idea to remove the seeds from the apple cores. Otherwise, the apple juice may turn out bitter. 

While the recipe calls for Granny Smith apples, feel free to substitute your favorite multi-purpose apples, or to use a mix of varieties. Sweet-tart apples such as Pink Lady, Cameo, Braeburn, or Jonagold work well. 

The original recipe suggested adding cinnamon and sugar to taste before cooking, however it is easier to adjust the sweetness once the apples have already broken down into a sauce. 


  • 8 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, and sliced: save the peels and cores if you are making the original version)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice (or water or apple liquid; see original version, below)
  • Dash cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • Optional: 1/2 cup dried cranberries (more or less to taste)

Steps to Make It

Quick Version

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the apple slices and juice or water. Place over medium-high heat, and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until the apples begin to release their juices and the mixture starts to simmer. 
  3. Add the cloves, reduce the heat, and cover. Simmer, stirring frequently and crushing the apples, until the apples are tender and the mixture is chunky, about 15 to 20 minutes. (If you prefer a smoother applesauce, cook it a little longer, and add a little more liquid). 
  4. Pull from the heat, remove the cloves, and sweeten to taste with cinnamon and sugar. Stir in dried cranberries, if desired. Serve warm, or transfer to a covered container and store in the refrigerator. 

Original Version

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Place the apple peels and cores in a large pot and cover with water. Cook over medium heat until the peels are soft and the water is the color of apple juice, about 15 to 20 minutes. Working over a bowl, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Save the liquid in the bowl, and discard the peels and cores.
  3. Place the sliced apples in large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, and add enough of the "apple liquid" to barely cover the apples. Add the cloves.
  4. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until the apples are tender and the sauce is chunky. (For a smoother sauce, add more of the apple liquid or water, and cook longer. Discard the cloves, and add cinnamon and sugar to taste. Add dried cranberries, if desired.