Apple sauce

Apple sauce or applesauce is a purée (not necessarily served as a true sauce) made of apples. It can be made with peeled or unpeeled apples and may be spiced or sweetened. Apple sauce is inexpensive and is widely consumed in North America and some parts of Europe.[1]

A wide range of apple varieties are used to make apple sauce, depending on the preference for sweetness or tartness.[2][3] Formerly, sour apples were used to make savory apple sauce.[4]

Commercial versions of apple sauce are readily available at supermarkets and other retail outlets.


Apple sauce is made by cooking apples with water or apple cider (fresh apple juice). More acidic apples will render a finer purée; the highly acidic Bramley apple creates a very fine purée. The apples may or may not be peeled. If they are not peeled, the peels and seeds are typically separated in a food mill.[5] Sugar and spices such as cinnamon, allspice, and even Red Hot candies may be added for flavor. Lemon juice, citric acid, or other acidifiers may be used to preserve the color and ensure a high enough acidity for safe storage. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) also preserves the color.

Apple sauce can be made by baking rather than boiling, in which case the apples are peeled and cored before cooking.[6] The same process is applied when preparing the sauce in a slow cooker.

Home or commercially canned apple sauce is sterilized by heat to preserve freshness.[7]

Apple butter

Apple butter is a highly concentrated version of apple sauce. Its high concentration of sugar gives it a long shelf life.[8]


Apple sauce is served as a side dish in northern Europe and North America. In the United States, packaged apple sauce is primarily branded as a children's snack, and is ubiquitous in school cafeterias.

In Sweden and Britain, it is commonly served with roast pork and goose. In British and Spanish cuisine, it is commonly served as pork chops and apple sauce. The Danish æbleflæsk combines the pork with apple sauce while cooking it.

In Central Europe it accompanies potato pancakes, in the Rhineland it is served with Reibekuchen. In Ashkenazi cuisine, it is the standard accompaniment for Hanukkah latkes. It also accompanies matzah brei. Apple sauce is served with many foods in Germanic cuisine: Flurgönder (a smoked brawn), various kinds of Spätzle, Schupfnudeln, Swiss Älplermagronen, a kind of macaroni and cheese. In Netherlands and Belgian cuisine, apple sauce is part of the common dish of chicken, french fries, and apple sauce (kip, frieten/patat en appelmoes). It is especially popular among children, who dip their fries in mayonnaise first, then in apple sauce.[9]

In many cuisines, apple sauce is a common accompaniment to blood sausage: the German Himmel und Erde; the Luxembourgian träipen and the French boudin noir. In fact the only French savory dish normally served with apple sauce (compote de pommes) is boudin sausage. It is also served with other sausage-like preparations, for example goetta and knipp.

Apple sauce may also be served as a dessert in most European cuisines, or used as an ingredient in applesauce cake.[10] Apple sauce may be used as a sauce for Polish pierogi, Swedish Äggakaka, Ukrainian syrniki pancakes, Central European Palatschinken, Austrian Kaiserschmarrn and various kinds of sweet and savory dumplings (Knödel). In Scandinavian cuisine, it is sometimes served with breakfast filmjölk, a kind of fermented milk.

Formerly heavily sweetened and boiled-down apple sauce was prepared for winter storage. Made with sour apples, it was eaten with meat; made with sweet apples, it was eaten with tea.[4]

In some recipes for baked goods, apple sauce can be used as a substitute for fat[11][12][13] or eggs to make them low-fat or vegan.[14][15][16][17] Bavarian sweet mustard may be made with applesauce, and is typically served with Weißwurst (similar to boudin blanc) or Leberkäse (a sort of pâté).

Nutritional information

According to the USDA, a 100 grams (3.5 oz) reference amount of unsweetened applesauce is 82% water, 18% carbohydrates, and contains negligible fat and protein, while supplying 68 kilocalories (280 kJ) of food energy.[18] It has an acidic pH between 3.3 and 3.6.[19]

In therapeutic diets

The BRAT and CRAM diets include apple sauce given to children with diarrhea and stomach problems.[20][21]


Apples are the third most internationally traded fruit, behind bananas and grapes.[22] The global applesauce trade is expanding, with a market valued at US$ 1611.1 million in 2017 projected to reach US$ 2169.3 million by the end of the year 2026. This increase in demand can be attributed to an increase in interest for apple flavored products, with increased global consumption of apple flavored juices and sauces.

Applesauce is most commonly packaged in cups, jars, pouches, and cans. Applesauce cups are the largest segment of the applesauce market, comprising 40.9% of the revenue share in 2017.

Brick and mortar retail stores account for about 85% of the market share for applesauce, as compared to 15% among e-retailers.


Sauces made with apples date to at least the Middle Ages.[23][24]

Apple butters were brought to the Americas by German immigrants such as the Moravians and Pennsylvania Dutch. They are traditionally associated with the Appalachian region of the United States and Southern Pennsylvania.[24]

See also

  • Mott's, a major US producer
  • Seneca Foods, a major US producer
  • C.H. Musselman's, a brand owned by Knouse Foods
  • Prigat, a major Israeli producer
  • Three Threes Condiments, an Australian producer


  1. Palmatier, Robert Allen (2000). Food: a dictionary of literal and nonliteral terms. Greenwood. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-313-31436-0.
  2. Erin Huffstetler, "The 11 Best Apples for Applesauce", The Spruce Eats 10/02/2019 Archived 2020-03-21 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Recommended Uses of Apple Varieties", in Tim Burford, Apples of North America: Exceptional Varieties for Gardeners, Growers, and Cooks, 2013, ISBN 1604692499, p. 278 Archived 2023-01-01 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Hale, Sarah Josepha Buell (1839). The good housekeeper: or, The way to live well and to be well while we live : containing directions for choosing and preparing food, in regard to health, economy and taste. Weeks, Jordan. p. 79. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  5. Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food, 20th anniversary edition, 2019, ISBN 1328545679, p. 364 Archived 2023-01-01 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Eliza Acton, Modern Cookery, for Private Families, 1860, p. 124 Archived 2023-01-01 at the Wayback Machine
  7. "Applesauce". NY Apple Association. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  8. Rosenstein, Mark (1999). In Praise of Apples: A Harvest of History, Horticulture & Recipes. Lark Books. p. 135. ISBN 978-1-57990-124-0. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  9. "The Dutch Table" Archived 2020-03-23 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Applesauce Cake, Source: U.S. Department of Defence". Theodora's Recipes. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  11. David Tao (13 November 2012). "Healthier Ways to Bake Without Butter or Oil". Greatist. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  12. "Baking Alternatives - Reducing Fat in Your Favorite Baked Goods Recipes". Wilton Blog - Ideas from Wilton. Archived from the original on 4 November 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  13. "HowStuffWorks "Ultimate Guide to Low-fat Baking"". HowStuffWorks. April 2000. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  14. Julie R. Thomson (11 August 2015) [6 August 2015]. "5 Ingredients To Substitute For Eggs In Vegan Baking". Huffington Post.
  15. David Tao (13 November 2012). "Healthier Ways to Bake Without Butter or Oil". Greatist. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  16. "Baking Alternatives - Reducing Fat in Your Favorite Baked Goods Recipes". Wilton Blog - Ideas from Wilton. Archived from the original on 4 November 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  17. "HowStuffWorks "Ultimate Guide to Low-fat Baking"". HowStuffWorks. April 2000. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  18. "Regular applesauce". FoodData Central, US Department of Agriculture. 30 October 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  19. William McGlynn (1994). "The Importance of Food pH in Commercial Canning Operations (Applesauce in Table 2)" (PDF). Oklahoma State University - Data from FDA, 1992. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-12-23. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  20. Mackell, S (1 December 2005). "Traveler's diarrhea in the pediatric population: etiology and impact". Clinical Infectious Diseases. 41 Suppl 8: S547-52. doi:10.1086/432950. PMID 16267717.
  21. King CK, Glass R, Bresee JS, Duggan C (November 2003). "Managing acute gastroenteritis among children: oral rehydration, maintenance, and nutritional therapy". MMWR Recomm Rep. 52 (RR-16): 1–16. PMID 14627948.
  22. Tuberosa, Roberto; Graner, Andreas; Frison, Emile (2013-12-23). Genomics of Plant Genetic Resources: Volume 2. Crop productivity, food security and nutritional quality. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-94-007-7575-6.
  23. "Food history: applesauce |". Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  24. "The Food Timeline--history notes: algae to creamed onions". Retrieved 2020-11-18.

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