This 20 Minute Pink Applesauce recipe adds the perfect hint of sweetness to every meal, whether it’s a holiday feast or simple weeknight dinner ~ and just look at that pretty rosy color!
I had every intention of making pink apple butter for this post, but when I saw the beautiful apple puree, (after just 20 minutes of work!) I couldn’t bear to return it to the pot to cook down into a butter.
I spooned the simple sauce into a bowl and we enjoyed it with pork chops for dinner. I think I’m going to give this as gifts this year. It’s not only beautiful, it’s easy, healthy, and goes with everything. Who doesn’t love applesauce?
TIP: If you want to continue with making apple butter you would simply strain this sauce, return it to a pot, and cook it, stirring often, until it thickens to a spreadable consistency.
What makes pink applesauce pink? The apple skins, of course.
So it’s important to use nice deep red apples. Mine are Rome apples, but any nice tasting ruby red apple will do. Be sure to wash them well, then just remove the cores and chop them up.
TIP: If your apples don’t have quite enough pigment to turn your sauce pink, throw in a few fresh cranberries while the apples are cooking.
I like to cook my apples with a whole cinnamon stick and a few cloves for a hint of spice.
The flavor of pink applesauce isn’t very different from regular applesauce, but you can add subtle flavor in lots of ways, depending on the liquid you use, and any add ins to the pot. Another nice idea would be to use the seeds of a vanilla bean. (Ever since I made my Whipped Kabocha with Vanilla Bean I’m obsessed with using it in savory dishes.)
TIP: I cooked my apples in fresh apple cider, which provided just a touch of sweetness for this no added sugar recipe. If you like you can sweeten the sauce with sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or any alternative sweetener you like.
Applesauce is one of those foods that has a universal comforting appeal, so it makes a perfect choice for holiday food gift giving.
It’s the classic accompaniment to so many different meals, but it can also be a wonderful baby or toddler food, or a soothing treat for anyone who’s under the weather. I love to mix it into yogurt for breakfast.
TIP: If you want to make a large batch as gifts, you can can this pink applesauce recipe. Make sure your sauce is at the boiling point before adding it to your canning jars, and process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes.
20 Minute No Sugar Pink Applesauce
- about 3 pounds red apples, more or less
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 whole cloves, optional
- Wash the apples well. Do Not Peel! Chop them into 1 inch pieces, discarding the core.
- Put the apples, cider, cinnamon and cloves into a heavy soup pot. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until the apples are soft.
- Remove the spices, and then puree the apples in a food processor. I did this in batches so as not to overload the processor. You can puree the apples to a super smooth consistency, or keep some texture. I chose to retain a little bit of texture in mine.
- Refrigerate the sauce until needed. It will keep for a week in the refrigerator.