Once you learn how easy it is to make homemade applesauce you may never buy a jar or pouch again.

By Dawn Perry
Updated November 12, 2018

Whipping up a batch of homemade applesauce is the perfect way to get kids involved in the kitchen. You'll spend quality time together doing something fun—and get them excited about the food you’re cooking and eating at the same time. This easy homemade applesauce recipe is one of my favorite things to make with kids because it’s easy and fast and there are lots of ways they can help. It's made in a slow cooker but it comes together just as easily on the stovetop.

Before you start creating with kids in the kitchen it’s important to go over a few basics. First, be sure that everybody washes their hands. Use warm, soapy water and make sure to get the backs and palms and in between the fingers. Dry hands with a clean dish towel and keep it close by to dry hands as you go, and wipe up any spills.

Next you’ll want to set up a tidy work station. You’ll need a cutting board—one that’s bigger than whatever you’re working with—about the size of a cookie sheet. Create a non-skid surface by placing a slightly damp paper towel under your board. This holds it in place and keeps you safe while you’re peeling and chopping.

Oh, and be sure your kid helpers can reach their board comfortably. Grab a stool if necessary to help them get closer. You want the board to be right about belly button level.

You’ll also need a sharp knife. Contrary to common sense, a sharp knife is actually a lot safer than a dull one. Dull knives can slip easily making nicks and cuts more likely. A sharp kid-size knife is the safest bet. Check out this kid-friendly knife set from Opinel.

A Y-shaped peeler is the only other tool you need to get started. We're partial to these durable yet inexpensive models from Kuhn Rikon. You can even set up an assembly line: one person peels and the other chops. Then all you need to do is simmer the apples in just a little bit of liquid. Apple juice or cider is great because it adds more appley flavor, but water works just as well. Add a little maple syrup or brown sugar, or leave it unsweetened if the apples you’re using are really sweet on their own.

Once the apples are nice and tender you can mash them with a potato masher or, for extra smooth sauce, transfer the cooked apples to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Use your finished (and cooled) applesauce to make a traditional applesauce spice cake or this slow-cooker version, or eat it warm, right out of the pot, with a dash of extra cinnamon. Store any leftovers in jars and refrigerate for up to 10 days.