How To Make Applesauce Without A Food Mill – 3 Easy Methods

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Last Updated on August 14, 2022

Looking for a new way how to make applesauce without a food mill? Today, we’ll explore 3 easy and effective ways you can make applesauce!

What Is Applesauce?

Applesauce, also commonly known as apple puree, is a very simple ingredient. While it is arguably thousands of years old, it is still used in modern kitchens all over the world today.

This ingredient consists of one thing. You guessed it, apples! But, many applesauce recipes and commercially made products today contain additives.

Depending on what its intended use is, it can be flavored with sweeteners and spices, colored with natural or artificial colorants, and have some added preservatives to extend its shelf life. Many also have altered consistencies. They can be thickened so that they work better in fillings. Or thinned to be best used in sauces, beverages, or soups.

Traditionally, only sour apples were used to make savory applesauce. But today, there are thousands of recipes and products using virtually any type of apple that exists.

How is applesauce usually made?

Now, there are a couple of different methods that are commonly used to make applesauce. No one method is better than the other. Usually, a specific method has a specific function. For example, if you use a fine-meshed sieve, you likely need a very fine puree. And, if you food processor, you likely need a textured puree.

One of the most authentic techniques used includes the use of a food mill. Now, what exactly is a food mill. When you see it, you’ll instantly get it. A food mill consists of three parts. A large bowl with a sieve at the bottom, a perforated disc, and a hand-operated mill. You can have a look at this tutorial on assembling and using a food mill.

First, the apples are peeled and cored. Then, they are cooked until they become extremely soft. Different apples have various cooked textures, but they all should be easily pierced by a testing needle.

Once they are cooked, they are pureed using a food mill. This helps break down the apple into a thick yet smooth mixture, aka apple puree.

Only after the puree is made do additional ingredients get added. If you add them with the cooking liquid, most of the flavor will be lost when the apples are strained.

Why doesn’t everybody use a food mill?

Unfortunately, not everybody has a food mill. This tool is quite outdated and many new modern appliances do the same thing – just with a lot less effort!

But, even with these new appliances at your disposal, many people still choose to live a much more minimalist life, especially in the kitchen, and not buy one-time-use items. You know exactly what we are talking about. We all have that random gadget you bought that now sits at the back of a cupboard.

So, while a food mill does work very well and isn’t too expensive, it is completely unnecessary.

How many apples does it take to make a quart of applesauce

How To Make Applesauce Without A Food Mill – Alternative Methods

Without further or do, here is how to make applesauce without a food mill. We have gathered some of the best techniques you can use. This way, you have a few options to choose from to find something that works for you!

1. Sieve

Yes, folks, believe it or not, all you need is a sieve. A sieve will help you not only make fine apple puree but also strain chunky ones of any excess liquid. And, using it is super easy.

Place the sieve over a large mixing bowl. Then, add a large spoonful of cooked apples into the sieve. Using the back of your spoon, press the soft apples through the sieve so they pass through. Both pieces of apple and apple juice will fall into the bowl.

Once finished, you can give the mixture a good stir to make a smooth uniform puree.

A sieve can also be used to remove excess liquid from mashed chunky apple puree.

It is a cheap tool that you most likely already have in your kitchen. And it is extremely versatile in its uses.

2. Potato masher

This tool will only really work if you want to make chunky applesauce. If you do, then it will work even better than a sieve!

A potato masher will allow you to more precisely control how chunky or fine you want the applesauce to be. And, it helps retain a lot of the moisture in the mixture.

Chunky applesauce is perfect for fillings, soups, sauces, and stews.

3. Food processor or blender

We aren’t personally big fans of using either of these appliances for applesauce. But only because instead of making a thick puree, it makes a smooth runny apple juice.

A food processor is the better choice between the two because it doesn’t pulverize as a blender does. Either way, if you have large batches of applesauce to make or are short on time, it is an option you can try. But, it virtually only makes smooth runny applesauce.

If you can, use a “pulse” option on the appliance. And, only work in very short intervals – like 3 seconds at a time! Trust us, it sounds short, but some of these appliances have major juicing power!

Choosing The Best Alternative Tool

The only way to choose the best method is to try them out yourself. As we have mentioned, some create very specific textures for applesauce.

So, start by determining what you want to use the applesauce for and what its consistency should be. Then, try out different methods with what you have and make notes for the future.


We hope that you found this article on how to make applesauce without a food mill helpful. Now, you can keep making your favorite recipes without having to continuously buy expensive sauces that cost a fraction to make yourself.

Read more about Apple Butter 101: All You Need to Know


How do you strain homemade applesauce?

If you have already pureed the sauce to the desired consistency, you can strain off the excess liquid using any type of sieve. You can also use a muslin cloth or cheesecloth. Even a coffee filter will work to strain excess applesauce liquid.

How many apples does it take to make a quart of applesauce?

You will need about 3 pounds of apples per quart of applesauce you need. The exact number of apples you need is almost impossible to say because it will depend on the type of apple you use and the size of the apple. That is why working by weight is much more accurate.

Can you process applesauce in the oven?

Processing is a term used to describe a step in the canning or jarring process. When a jar of applesauce is processed, it is rested in a water-bath canner to help destroy any micro-organisms. According to our research, you can process applesauce in an oven, but you have to add it to a tray filled with boiling hot water. Then, leave it at 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Can you make homemade applesauce with the skin on?

While it is unconventional, you can leave the apple skins on the fruit when making applesauce. But, you will probably taste tiny bits of skin after the sauce has been pureed. Especially if you aren't making a silky smooth sauce.

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