Easy Unsweetened Apple Purée

Apple purée / Apple Sauce / Applesauce

Mixed Apples Apple Puree & Apple Juice
Unsweetened apple purée and apple juice

Apple purée is also known as apple sauce or applesauce.  I always use unsweetened apple purée in my recipes – so basically cooked apples which are sieved or processed to a fine texture.  Nothing else – just apples……  maybe a little water to get the apples softening up but that’s all.  I see no reason to sweeten the apples – even if I am making Granny Smith apple purée, the resulting purée is quite sweet enough without added sugar.  However apple purée, apple sauce or applesauce can include sugar or honey, as well as spices for flavouring.
Apples: Jazz, Royal Gala & Red Delicious
Jazz, Royal Gala & Red Delicious apples

The apple purée is stored in an airtight container in the fridge.  I use it in a lot of recipes but it is also available for breakfasts.  A large potful of apple purée doesn’t last long as PML (actually PMML now as we have an extra M staying for a bit) dollop huge spoonfuls over their muesli, corn flakes or weetbix.  Occasionally I portion the apple pureé out into one cup lots and freeze in plastic pottles.  I have also successfully bottled (canned) unsweetened apple purée when gifted several buckets full of large cooking apples (not exactly sure the variety).  I prefer bottling or canning as it means there is no ongoing cost of storing the apple purée but it is more time intensive (sterilizing the jars (actually finding the jars and their lids is a bit of a mission in our messy shed) then processing in a water bath) perhaps more on that another time.  So for now, I make smaller batches more regularly.
Apples: Jazz, Royal Gala & Red Delicious
Roughly chopped apples

Usually any apples that aren’t quite good enough to eat fresh are chucked in the pot for pureé.  Any variety – it all goes in together.  The Anster & I rose early Saturday morning to head down to the early flea market.  We were after tamarillo’s but picked up other bits and pieces while we wandering around.  We came home with some huge funny shaped feijoas (never mind the funny shape, they were delicious), mandarins, some massive kumara (very knobbly shaped and difficult to peel but beautiful to eat), pumpkins & squash and some little golden kiwifruit that were quite hard (the stall holder said they’d ripen up just fine (they didn’t)).  The last stop was a large bag of Gala or Royal Gala apples for Miss M (apparently she loves Gala) and a smaller bag of Braeburn apples for everyone else to eat.
Apple Pips & Stalks
Once at home and unpacking the goodies, the large bag of Gala turned out to be a mixed bag of Gala & Red Delicious.  Not a problem.  Then Miss M tried one – mushy mushy mushy.  There was no convincing her to try another, so I had a huge bag of apples to play with in the kitchen.  Several large pots of apple purée (hmmm, maybe more than several and we’re out of apple purée again), some Red Delicious apple jam, another batch of Red Delicious jam with Roasted Rhubarb & Rosewater (those recipes to come shortly) and lots of desserts with apples – we’ve had Apple Crumble, Apple Cobbler and Apple Cake.  And I have about seven apples left so it seems another trip to the market for another large bag of apples may be in store.
Roughly chopped apples
This particular batch of apple purée has approximately:

  • 1 Jazz apple
  • 3 Gala apples
  • 4 Red Delicious apples
  • 3 large Granny smith apples
  • 3 small Braeburn apples

less any small bruises, cuts and bad pieces which are cut out and discarded.  I didn’t weigh the apples but to give any idea of yield – 14 medium apples (on average) gives about 4-5 cups of apple purée, plus about 2-3 cups of juice.

The previous batch of apple purée was made with Red Delicious & Royal Gala apples resulting in a pretty pink-hued purée.
Red Delicious & Royal Gala Apple Puree
Pink-hued Red Delicious & Royal Gala Apple Purée

Easy Unsweetened Apple Purée


Apples – any variety
Water (optional)

Wash the apples and remove any leaves and stems.  Roughly chop apples (including peels, cores and all).  Place apples in a large pot.  Place over low-medium heat and cook (lid on) until the apples release their juices.  Water can be added with the apples to speed this process along.  If I am using a little water (about 1/2 cup), I place the lid on the pot and leave it to cook slowly for about 10 minutes.  Once the apples at the bottom of the pot have started to soften, I give the apples a good stir and continue to cook until all the apples are soft and beginning to break down.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool.  Place a large sieve over a large bowl and ladle the apples into the sieve to drain off the juices.  Some of the juice can be returned to the purée if a juicier apple purée is desired – I drain the juice off as PML like a thicker purée. Keep the juice and use it in recipes in place of water or apple juice (I have successfully added it to a meatloaf mixture – that recipe is to come).

Once the apples have drained, process through a food mill with the smallest disc (to prevent the seeds going through).  If you don’t have a food mill, it is a good investment.  Otherwise, you could press the mixture through the sieve.
Cooked apple
Smallest Food Mill Disc
Processing cooked apples through the food mill
For the compost

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