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 on 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!
To reduce 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 corn starch 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 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 by step tutorial
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! Have a look at this informative article on exactly the best way to do so.
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.