Wondering how to make apple sauce without sugar?
Homemade apple sauce is very easy to make and much tastier than anything you’ll find in the grocery store. My apple sauce recipe is sugar-free too…because apple sauce doesn’t need sugar. But, if you have a sweet tooth, you’re welcome to sweeten it to your taste.
All you need to make your own apple sauce is apples – that’s it! Peel, core and chop the apples then simmer them over low heat with a splash of water. You’ll have homemade apple sauce in under an hour.
I learned how to make apple sauce when I lived in France. But let’s use the term “learn” loosely here because making apple sauce is really straightforward. More like – I watched someone make it and added it to my mental recipe card index.
Know this, even though my sugar-free apple sauce recipe has a suggested quantity of apples, if you just have two or three apples, you can turn them into apple sauce – I have!
Let’s dive in!
How to Make Apple Sauce Without Sugar
1. Peel, Core and Chop Your Apples
Peel and core two pounds of sweet apples. Cut the apples into half inch chunks. Size doesn’t need to be exact, you just don’t want them so small that they turn to watery mush or so large that they take excessively long to soften up while simmering.
2. Simmer the Apples Until Soft
Place the apple pieces in a medium pot so they are several layers deep.
Add one tablespoon of water, put the lid on and allow the apples to simmer on low heat.
Stir them gently every few minutes until they are very soft and easily mash when touched. This will take up to 20 to 30 minutes depending on the variety of apple you’re using.
3. Puree the Apples
When the apples are ready, use an immersion blender right in the pot to puree them into a beautiful apple sauce.
If you don’t have an immersion blender you can also let them cool a little then transfer them to a blender and pulse until they are a nice apple sauce consistency.
Alternately, if you do not have a blender, you can mash the sauce manually with a hand-held potato masher. The texture just won’t be as smooth and creamy.
How to Make Apple Sauce: FAQs
What are the best apples for homemade apple sauce?
To make homemade apple sauce, use apples that soften rapidly under heat. Good apples for apple sauce are Golden Delicious and Fuji. I also prefer to use apples that are sweet rather than tart, so my apple sauce doesn’t beg for sugar when it’s done. I’d much rather get a little natural sweetness directly from the apples.
Certainly you could use a firmer baking apple such as Granny Smith to make apple sauce, and I have, it just doesn’t cook down as well and is not ideal for apple sauce.
Other than that, don’t worry too much about exactly what apples you choose, pick something you like.
I’ve made apple sauce with all sorts of apples… Fuji, Lady Alice, Pink Lady and Daisy Girl, to name a few
Can you use more than one kind of apple in a batch of apple sauce?
When making apple sauce, it’s best to stick to one variety of apples per batch. Using one kind of apple ensures they cook at the same rate and are all done at the same time. Otherwise you could wind up with some being ready and others needing more time.
Should I leave the lid on the pot when making apple sauce?
Yes, keep the lid on the pot when making apple sauce. This holds the steam inside the pot so the apples don’t dry out.
Why add water when making apple sauce?
A small amount of water helps keep the bottom of the pan moist and encourages the apples to release their own juices. It’s important not to add too much water as this can result in watery apple sauce. I recommend starting with just one tablespoon of water for two pounds of apples.
What can I do if my apple sauce is watery?
If you are making apple sauce and the apples are getting soft, but you notice an accumulation of water on the bottom of the pan, remove the lid so some of the liquid can evaporate while the apples simmer. Likewise, if the apples start to look too dry, add another half tablespoon of water. You should not need any more than two tablespoons total.
What foods go well with sugar-free apple sauce?
Certainly apple sauce can be eaten on its own, or with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
In France we’d enjoy it with some plain, unsweetened yogurt for breakfast. Not surprisingly, homemade apple sauce also makes a dreamy topping for vanilla ice cream!
It works on the dinner table as well. Apple sauce pairs very nicely with a baked ham or pork chops as a condiment.
If you have extra apples left over when you’re done, check out my Gluten-Free Apple Crisp Recipe!
How to Make Apple Sauce Without Sugar
- 2 lbs organic apples I prefer a sweet variety
- 1 tbsp water
- Peel and core the apples. Then chop them into small, 1/2 inch pieces.
- Place the apple pieces and water into a medium pot. Cover with a lid and simmer over low heat. Gently stir the apples every few minutes.
- Simmer for up to 20 to 30 minutes until all of the apple pieces are soft and easy to mash.
- When they are ready, use an immersion blender to puree the apples into apple sauce. Or, let them cool until warm and transfer to a blender – pulse a few times until the sauce is a consistency you like.
- If the apples aren’t releasing water and start to get dry, add another half tablespoon of water. Just enough to keep the bottom of the pot a bit moist.
- If the apples look too watery, remove the lid while simmering to let some of the water evaporate.