This easy-to-make rich chunky homemade applesauce is full of cinnamon flavor and makes a great snack or side dish. You’ll appreciate it is made without refined sugar. My kids love it and it goes into their lunchboxes most days of the week.
This recipe is great to use after a day of apple picking. This is also my go-to recipe with less than perfect apples.
This applesauce is great as a snack, side or a dessert. My son will eat it with vanilla ice cream, top it with some whipped cream, or put it on top of some greek yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast. It is also a great side to pork dishes.
Ingredients for Cinnamon Maple Chunky Applesauce
- Apples – Granny Smith apples hold their shape while cooking leaving you with nice chunks and not all mush. The other apples can be Golden Delicious, Gala, Envy, Jazz, Cortland, Fuji, Honey Crisp, or McIntosh. A lot of varieties will work here, I haven’t found one that isn’t delicious.
- Water – helps break down the apples and not stick to the pot.
- Cinnamon – I put in one tablespoon!! I know that is a lot but it enhances the flavor and there are many health benefits to cinnamon.
- Maple syrup – a natural sweetener that pairs so well with the apples. Make sure it is pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup.
Peel, core, and chop apples into about 1-inch chunks.
In a heavy, nonreactive Dutch oven or saucepan, combine the apple chunks, water, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
Over medium heat, cover and simmer the apples, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until apples have softened. After 15 minutes remove the lid to allow the liquid to evaporate by simmering for the remaining five minutes.
Use a potato masher or spoon to break up the apples to desired consistency. I enjoy leaving chunks of apples for added texture.
Remove from heat. If necessary, add additional maple syrup or cinnamon to taste. Serve warm or chilled. Let it cool to room temperature before storing it in the fridge.
Recipe Substitutions and Variations
- Experiment with different apple varieties in this recipe. As I mentioned, I have tried several while always using the Granny Smiths to maintain texture and tartness. My favorite apples to add are Honey Crisp, Gala, and Golden Delicious.
- Cooking time may differ depending on the apples you use.
- To reduce the sugar, cut the maple syrup to 2 tablespoons or omit it altogether. Adjust to taste at the end.
- The spices can also be adjusted to preference, add a bit of ginger, nutmeg, cloves, or allspice. I sometimes add a teaspoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of lemon juice or lemon zest.
- I have also added in ripe pears. Just peel, core and chop, and place them into the pot with the apples.
Tips for success
- Make sure to chop the apples into 1 to 2-inch chunks any larger will take too long to cook. Also, aim for the same size chunks which helps them cook at the same rate.
- Simmer at medium to medium-high heat, make sure to stir occasionally to avoid scorching.
- You can overcook apples and will lose their flavor if cooked too long. While stirring when the apples become squishy and have no give, they are done.
- The applesauce will naturally thicken as it cools.
- Yes, peel the apples, the skins especially on the granny smiths are tough and will not break down enough to enjoy.
- This applesauce will last in refrigeration for a week to 10 days or freeze up to 3 months.
Cinnamon Maple Chunky Applesauce
- 1 pound Granny Smith apples about 3 medium
- 3 pounds Honeycrisp apples or another sweet variety, about 3 medium
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Peel, core, and chop apples into about 1 inch chunks, about 9 cups of raw apples.
- In a heavy, nonreactive Dutch oven or saucepan, combine the apple chunks, water, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
- Over medium heat, cover and simmer the apples, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until apples have softened. After 15 minutes remove the lid to allow the liquid to evaporate by simmering for the remaining five minutes.
- Use potato masher or spoon to break up the apples to desired consistency. Remove from heat. If necessary, add additional maple syrup or cinnamon to taste. Serve warm or chilled. Let it cool to room temperature before storing it in the fridge.