I absolutely love having an apple tree on our property – ours grows green apples that border on sweet and sour and makes delicious applesauce. I can’t wait to add a red apple tree in the future!
Each spring the tree blossoms beautifully and about this time of year the apples get ready for harvest. In all honesty, most of them could use another week or two on the tree but I always get anxious and pick a few early ones for our first batch of applesauce for the year!
Applesauce is fun and SUPER EASY to make with your kids! Below I’ll walk you through the steps you should do and ones your kids can do so you can make your own applesauce at home together.
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What You Need – Tools
- Apple Corer-Peeler-Slicer OR apple peeler and apple cutter.
- Medium to large stock pot with a lid
- Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons
- Wooden Spoon
- Immersion Blender OR potato masher
- Jars for storing – We store in the fridge for up to ten days but it’s usually eaten WAY before that!
I highly recommend an apple corer-peeler-slicer. It isn’t a must have but it makes this recipe and any others involving apples MUCH easier and is fun for the kids to use! I’ll explain how to use it soon!
What You Need – Ingredients
- Twelve Medium Apples (I used green and this made me three pints of applesauce)
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup White Sugar
- 1 – 1.5 Cups water
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
That’s really ALL you need! You can find other recipes and change seasoning amounts to your liking once you are comfortable with the process – but this is what we use and the kids love it!
Step One – Gather Your Apples And Other Supplies
You can certainly buy apples at the store! However, we find it fun to pick apples from our tree. Check with local orchards – many will let the public come pick apples at a decent price and it can be a fun adventure for the whole family.
No matter how you obtain your apples, when cooking with kids it is always best to have all your supplies gathered close by before you start. I like to take my containers of ingredients and other supplies and line them up on the table or a nearby counter so we can focus on the cooking process and not on hunting down supplies.
Step 2: Peel, Core, and Slice Your Apples!
There are two ways you can do this! We will cover both ways, and the steps you should do and what your kids can do!
Using An Apple Corer-Peeler-Slicer
This is my preferred method. With an apple corer-peeler-slicer you can do all three steps at once and with ease. Each slicer is a little different so make sure you read the directions for your specific tool.
Place the apple on the Corer-Peeler-Slicer. I do this because my girls aren’t strong enough to get the apple on and I worry about them slipping up and getting poked in the hand by the pieces that hold the apple on the slicer. I also remove the core from the tool after the apple has been peeled and sliced.
My kids love to turn the handle and let the apple spin through the steps of coring, peeling, and slicing. My seven year old could do this on her own all day. My four year old and two year old need help but still love getting involved. Throw away the peels and cores (or feed them to your chickens!) and toss the peeled and cored apple bits into the stock pot!
Using a Peeler and Apple Slicer
This way takes a little longer but is just as successful!
Apples can be a pain to peel so I prefer to do this part if I am peeling with a hand peeler. My seven year old is starting to peel but it’s still easiest if I do it!
My kids love using their “big girl muscles” to push down the slicer through the apple. Be sure to supervise and make sure they know how to use it correctly so they don’t push down on their fingers. My seven year old is a pro, my four year old is getting pretty good, and my two year old still needs a lot of help but likes trying!
Slice apples slices in half across the center to turn your slices into equal chunks. Have the kids toss them in your stock pot! Throw out peels and cores.
*Note* You can leave peels on if you would like – I don’t prefer it!
Step 3: Measure Other Ingredients and Add To Stock Pot
Parent/Older Child Step
Either I or my seven year old uses a measuring cup to measure out the remaining ingredients. I almost always do the vanilla because it is strong in flavor and a bit pricier compared to other ingredients and I don’t want to use more than necessary!
Younger Child Step
My younger kids like to dump in the ingredients after being measured – especially the sugar and water. Your water amount will vary on preference. I usually start with one cup and then if my applesauce seems to thick for my liking later on I add some more!
Step 4: Stir Everything Together!
All of my kids like to take a turn stirring until everything is well mixed! I then give one final mix before the pot heads to the stove.
Step 5: Cook The Applesauce
I’ve taught my oldest how to turn on the stove top, but I still supervise. We put the apples in the pot on the stove and turn the heat to high until we notice the water has come to a rapid boil.
Once boiling we stir, turn the heat to medium low, and put on a lid. From here we wait. My slices are pretty thin so 20 minutes is plenty of time to soften and cook my apples. Bigger chunks might take a bit longer. We lift the lid and stir every 5 minutes or so.
At this point your kitchen will smell amazing!
Step 6: Blend Or Mash To Desired Consistency
Applesauce can be smooth or chunky! Whatever you and your kids like! I love chunky applesauce but on our most recent adventure I decided to go extra smooth. We used an immersion blender to blend the soft cooked apples until completely smooth. You can also use a potato masher for a mildly chunky result. In a pinch a fork will do as well!
Kids can help mash it up and often find it fun!
Step 7: Let Cool, Taste Test, and Store
I remove the applesauce from the heat for blending, but it often still needs a bit to cool before it is safe to touch. I will say, applesauce is delicious warm – go ahead and reward your kids with a bowl of their warm creation! You may find that you soon have none left!
If you have applesauce you want to store you can pour it with a funnel into wide mouth glass jars (I did 3 – 1 pint jars), pop a lid on, and store in the fridge for up to ten days.
Easy Home Made Applesauce
This is a recipe for a basic cinnamon applesauce I love to make with my kids!
- 12 Medium Apples I use green!
- 1-2 cup water Add more to reach desired thinness as apples cook.
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Add apples, water, sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla to medium stock pot.
Bring mix to a boil on stove top over high heat.
Once boiling, lower heat to medium low and simmer covered 20 minutes. Stir every 5!
Remove from heat, if sauce seems to thick add more water as desired.
Use an immersion blender, potato masher, or fork to mash applesauce to desired consistency.
Cool slightly and enjoy some warm 🙂
When cool pour into wide mouth jars and store in fridge for up to ten days. This recipe made me 3 one-pint jars.
You can leave peels on if you would like – I do not.
Check pot often when simmering – if anything seems to be burning or sticking lower heat and add more water.
If you enjoyed this kitchen time with your kids make sure you check out my article on 7 kitchen skills your 7 year old can master!
Did you try this recipe? How did it go? Do you cook with your kids? Let me know your favorite cooking adventures in the comments or on our Explore Life Moore Facebook Page!