Last Updated on March 20, 2023
Are you struggling with runny applesauce? We have compiled a list of the best methods on how to thicken applesauce quickly and efficiently.
Applesauce is an incredibly versatile ingredient. It can be used for both savory and sweet recipes. You can make waffles, muffins, marinades, or even soups. Unfortunately, applesauce sometimes has an extremely runny consistency. Luckily, we have some of the best ways to thicken your homemade applesauce effortlessly.
What Is Applesauce?
Most of us have heard of applesauce and being a baker, you have most likely already used it. So, you probably know a little about it and how it works.
Applesauce is a product made from fresh apples that can either be peeled or unpeeled. The mixture is also sometimes seasoned with delicious spices. Sweeteners like sugar are also added to help balance the flavor. Acidic ingredients are also mixed in to help preserve the flavor and color.
First, the apples are cooked until they are completely soft. Then, the cooked apples are pureed to make a smooth mixture. This mixture is thick in consistency because of the fiber in apples.
But, sometimes it can be a little runny because the water separates from the fibers. This is especially common in older applesauce. This is why we have compiled a list of the best ways how to thicken homemade applesauce.
Is applesauce a liquid?
You wouldn’t believe how often we are asked, “is applesauce a liquid?”
Applesauce is considered a liquid despite having a thick consistency. This is because it has been blended to create a smooth puree. If it were extremely chunky, it would be considered solid.
So, in essence, the way a product is labeled is determined by how it has been made. In other words, chunky cooked apples are considered to be a solid product.
What To Add To Applesauce To Thicken It?
Unfortunately, while applesauce is naturally thick, it still often has an unappealing watery texture. Now, deciding what to add to applesauce to help thicken the consistency can be challenging.
First, you have to decide how thick you want the sauce to be. This will to a certain degree determine how to thicken the applesauce. If you only need to make it a little bit thicker, then you should consider only cooking it. But, if you have a very watered-down sauce that needs to be extremely thick, you should add some type of thickener.
Below, we have compiled a list of exactly how to thicken applesauce. And, we have even included when to use which method.
Reduce the sauce
Reducing is an easy method to use to thicken any liquid. It works especially well for textured liquids such as applesauce!
Reducing a sauce does take time. You can place your applesauce over medium heat and allow it to slowly cook. You can even bring it to a gentle simmer to speed up the process. The mixture should never boil – this will change its flavor.
You can leave the applesauce to reduce and thicken until it has reached the desired consistency. This method is fantastic for this exact reason.
Add a starch
Starches are natural thickening agents. This means that they can help solidify liquid ingredients and give them a more solid texture.
Popular starches to use are cornstarch and arrowroot powder. Both of these are easy to find today and budget-friendly. They are also versatile and can be used in lots of recipes.
One thing to keep in mind is that different starches have different thickening abilities. It is important to know what you are working with and how to work with it.
Flour also has natural thickening abilities. This is fantastic because you most likely already have flour at home. But, unfortunately, it isn’t a great option if you are gluten intolerant.
The best way to add flour to your applesauce is to make a roux. First, combine equal parts of flour and butter over low heat. Then, slowly add the liquid applesauce while whisking. Continue adding until all of the sauce is incorporated.
Lastly, increase the heat and cook until the sauce begins to boil. This is when the flour is completely cooked out.
Add more cooked apples
This method is arguably the most time-consuming, but it is very effective. All you have to do is cook and blend more apples. The new thick and fresh batch of apples will make the current watery mixture thicker.
You can also add chunky cooked apples to add even more thickness to it!
Another fantastic trick you can use is to strain the watery liquid before adding the new one. This will help remove some of the excess liquid.
What You Will Need To Thicken Applesauce Using Corn Starch
- 2 cups applesauce
- 1 1/2 – 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 – 3 tablespoons water
- Medium saucepan or pot
- Small bowl
- Small whisk
Step 1: Gently heat the applesauce
In a medium pot, add the runny applesauce. Put the sauce over low heat and gently heat it.
Step 2: Make a slurry
Meanwhile, start to make a slurry using cornstarch and water. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until you have a completely smooth paste.
Step 3: Thicken the applesauce
Next, add the smooth slurry to the slightly heated applesauce. Continue whisking until the two mixtures are well combined.
Then, allow the mixture to slowly come to a simmer. This will help the mixture thicken and cook out the cornstarch.
Tips And Tricks
- The amount of cornstarch you use depends on how thick you want your applesauce to be. The more cornstarch you use the thicker the liquid will become.
- You can strain the applesauce through a cheesecloth before thickening it with cornstarch. This will remove some excess water and make it easier to thicken quickly.
- As we have mentioned, you can use any type of starch to thicken a liquid. The rules stay the same.
- Always make a slurry using an equal amount of starch and water. If you are using flour as a thickener, use an equal amount of flour and fat (like butter).
- You have to cook out the cornstarch. Even though it does take a couple of extra minutes, you won’t have quality applesauce if you skip this step. When doing this, you prevent the sauce from having a starchy mouthfeel and flavor.
- You can store your thickened applesauce in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks! Look at this informative article on the best way to do so.
How Dense is Apple Juice?
Apple juice weighs 262 grams per metric cup. This goes for all types of unsweetened apple juice, canned or bottled. Apple juice is just slightly denser than orange juice, which weighs 254 grams per metric cup.
The density of apple juice in ounces is 8.75 ounces per cup. By the gallon, the density of apple juice is 140 ounces per gallon. To compare, one cup of water weighs eight fluid ounces, meaning that apple juice is denser than water.
The process of making apple juice consists of mashing apples in a press. This process filters the particulate matter out and pasteurizes the juice. In some cases, sugar and vitamin C are added to the apple juice.
Apple juice has a longer shelf life than its counterpart, apple cider. Once open, it is recommended to refrigerate your apple juice to keep it fresher for longer.
Knowing the density of apple juice can help give you a better understanding when using it for cooking and baking. If you are subsisting apple juice for another liquid in a recipe, the density may play a difference in the final product.
For example, your recipe would not turn out the same if you used apple juice instead of vegetable oil. The density of apple juice and vegetable oil is different enough that it would affect the texture of the recipe. In addition, the flavor would be affected as well.
One cup of unsweetened apple juice has 113 calories. It also has 24 grams of sugar and 0.3 grams of fat.
Does Applesauce Have Starch in it?
Applesauce does not contain significant amounts of starch. One cup of applesauce contains 0 grams of starch. Unlike other fruits and vegetables, apples are not starchy once they ripen.
The starch content of ripe apples is shallow. As the fruit ripens, the starch is changed into sugar and becomes unrecognizable. This means that apples are not a good source of starch.
Young apples will have much more starch than ripe apples. However, young apples are not ideal to eat and will not taste as good as ripe apples. When the apples begin the ripening process the starch they have stored up is converted to sugar.
While ripen apples typically have less than 1% starch, unripe apples tend to have up to 15% starch. The exact amount of starch will vary by apple.
Starch is a carbohydrate that is a natural component in many vegetables, fruits, and grains. It is a complex carbohydrate that is often associated with rice, pasta, and potatoes.
Many plants, including fruits and vegetables, store energy as starch. Starches provide the body with glucose, which is the main source of energy for cells in your body. In addition, they are also a good source of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Foods that are rich in starch are also good for thickening soups and sauces without adding any additional fat. For example, cornstarch is often used as a thickening agent, especially in sauces.
How To Thicken Runny Applesauce – Conclusion
As you can see, there is no shortage of options to thicken runny applesauce. You can use starch, flour, blended apples, or even reduce it to the correct consistency. Let us know what you think in the comments below and if you have any more tricks for us!
How To Thicken Applesauce
- Medium saucepan or pot
- Small bowl
- Small whisk
- Gently heat the applesauce.In a medium pot, add the runny applesauce. Put the sauce over low heat and gently heat it.2 cups applesauce
- Make a slurry.Meanwhile, start to make a slurry using cornstarch and water. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until you have a completely smooth paste.1 1/2 - 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 1/2 - 3 tablespoons water
- Thicken the applesauce.Next, add the smooth slurry to the slightly heated applesauce. Continue whisking until the two mixtures are well combined.Then, allow the mixture to slowly come to a simmer. This will help the mixture thicken and cook out the cornstarch.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.