The Type Of Apple For Homemade Applesauce Makes All The Difference

Early fall often means a visit to the pick-your own apple orchard, particularly if you're a city dweller with young children and you want them to get a small (yet flavorful) taste of rural life. (Or you get roped into chaperoning your kiddo's kindergarten field trip.) On such an occasion, or perhaps even on a trip to the farmer's market or the supermarket, you may find yourself in possession of half a bushel or so of apples and no earthly idea how to use them all up. Contrary to any idioms you may have heard, there's nothing particularly easy about apple pie, but making homemade applesauce is a pretty effort-free endeavor –- as long as you've picked the right apples, that is.

The whole point with applesauce is for the apples to fall apart completely and lose their apple-y texture as they dissolve into a sweet, tasty mush. For that reason, pie apples like Granny Smiths aren't your best bet as they're a bit too firm. The best apples to use are ones that have a fairly soft texture as opposed to the kind that bite back when you chomp into them. Another thing to keep in mind is the texture of the skin. Cooking your apples unpeeled not only cuts down on labor but packs quite a punch, nutritionally speaking: quadruple the vitamin K and more than double the vitamins A and C as compared to peeled fruits, per Healthline. Apples with thinner skins, though, may make for a smoother sauce.

Your apple selection also depends on whether you prefer your applesauce sweet or sour

If you don't want to make like Mr. Whipple in the old Charmin commercials and go around squeezing your apples before you buy them, how can you tell which ones are the softer varieties? Certain apple varieties are known for being less crispy than others, and if you want a sweeter, softer apple, the Crispin, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, and Jonagold are all good picks. The Jonagold, Gala, and Golden Delicious are all known for their thin skin, as well. If you're wondering why the Red Delicious apple doesn't make the list, though, this is because the apple is not only thicker skinned than its yellow cousin but its flesh is on the mealy side and if you make the mistake of using it in applesauce the final product will come out overly mushy.

Should you prefer a tarter apple, Braeburn, Cortland, Macoun, McIntosh, Rome, and Pink Lady work well in applesauce, and the last one, if you keep its skin on, can give your sauce a pretty pink color. (Adding a few Red Hots candies can also do the trick.) Granny Smiths, while on the firm side, be used in applesauce if you don't mind it being extra-chunky, or you can add them to a sauce made with one of the aforementioned apples to provide a bit more tartness while retaining some of the smoother apple's texture.