| |

Crabapple Sauce Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. View our disclosure.

Crabapple Sauce

We picked five gallons of crabapples the other night. Now I’m busy turning them into tasty things. Like this crabapple sauce. Isn’t the color gorgeous? And the house smelled so good when I was making it. If you have a crabapple tree that you’ve been eyeing, you have to make this recipe at least once. It’s a lot of work – I’m not going to lie – but the end result is pretty spectacular.

Ready to give it a go? Here’s the recipe.

Crabapple Sauce Recipe

Cook Time:

20-25 mins


6 lbs. crabapples

What You Do:

Wash Crabapples

Weigh out six pounds of crabapples and wash them.

Crabapples - Stemmed and Cored

Quarter them; then, remove the stems and blossom ends. Leave the skins. They’re full of vitamins and will give you that gorgeous color. This step takes a while, and may even earn you a blister or two. (just keepin’ it real). My husband and I worked together, but it still took a while.

If you leave the cores, you can use the juice left in the pot after cooking your crabapples to make crabapple jelly. So, you’ll get two products out of one batch of apples, and you’ll have less prep work to do. A win-win. Just know that if you decide to go this route, you’ll need a food mill to remove all the seeds later on. If you don’t own a food mill, go ahead and remove the cores from your crabapples now.

Cover Crabapples with Water

Once your crabapples are prepped, dump them into a large pot, and add one cup of water for each pound of crabapples. Bring the pot to a boil. Then, turn it down to a simmer.

Cook Crabapples Until Soft

Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the crabapples are soft.

Run Crabapples Through a Food Mill

Then, drain the water (be sure to save it if you’re making crabapple jelly), and run your crabapples through a food mill to turn them into sauce. If you don’t have a food mill, you can accomplish the same thing with an immersion blender or a food processor (provided you removed the cores earlier).

This if the food mill that I used. It’s a Foley:

Foley Food Mill

Sample your crabapplesauce, and add sugar to taste. Crabapples are more tart than regular apples, so you’ll probably want a little sugar, even if you’re used to eating your applesauce unsweetened.

Enjoy your sauce warm; refrigerate it; freeze it; or jar it up, and process it in a waterbath canner – 15 minutes for pints; 20 minutes for quarts.


4 pints, plus enough to sample

Want to make a bigger or smaller batch? As long as it fits in your pot, you’re good to go.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Crabapple Sauce Recipe

Crabapple Sauce Recipe

Have access to a crabapple tree? Try this recipe for crabapple sauce. It’s better than regular applesauce in every way.

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 pints 1x


  • 6 lbs. crabapples
  • sugar (optional)


Quarter the crabapples. Remove the stems and blossom ends, but leave the skins. If you have a food mill, you can leave the cores, too. If you don’t, go ahead and core the crabapples.

Note: If you leave the cores, you can use the juice left in the pot after cooking your crabapples, to make crabapple jelly.

Pour the prepped crabapples into a large pot. Add one cup of water for each pound of crabapples.

Bring the pot to a boil. Then, reduce it to a simmer.

Cook 20-25 minutes, or until crabapples are soft.

Drain the pot (retain the juice, if you plan to make crabapple jelly). Then, run the crabapples through a food mill to turn them into sauce. You can also use an immersion blender or food processor.

Taste your crabapple sauce, and add sugar to taste. Crabapples are pretty tart, so you’ll probably want to add sugar, even if you’re used to eating unsweetened applesauce.

Refrigerate your crabapple sauce, if you plan to use it soon. Otherwise freeze it, or process it in a water-bath canner — 15 minutes for pints; 20 minutes for quarts.


See myfrugalhome.com for a crabapple jelly recipe.

Keywords: crabapple sauce recipe

Jars of Crabapple Butter

Use some of your crabapple sauce to make crabapple butter. It’s easy to do in the crockpot.

Similar Posts


  1. Thankyou for this article. It just so happens that I am working with crab apples from my neighbours tree, and have been cruising the web looking for ideas.

    Every recipe I come across that requires the apples to be cored suggest quartering just like big apples.
    My way is WAY faster, Same result. Simply cut the apple away from the core, while leaving the apple whole . It is so fast I can ready five cups of apples in 2 or 3 min.
    Just a tip to try, to take the pain away from crab apples!
    Theresa from CopperBounty Ranch

  2. Thank you, Erin and Theresa.

    I have a crab apple tree that has produced a huge amount of fruit this year, most of it not beautiful enough to make whole spiced crabs. This recipe is just the ticket.

    The University of Minnesota Extension says that applesauce can be frozen:

    Cool the sauce in a shallow pan in the refrigerator.
    Pack the sauce in rigid freezer containers, leaving one inch of headspace.
    Freeze at 0 degrees for Fahrenheit 8 to 12 months.

  3. Thank you Erin, Theresa and Holly!

    My crabapple sauce turned out well thanks to all of your tips.

    Thanks again!

  4. Just finished my first batch ever of crabapplesauce, taking advantage of a long underused tree in my yard. My girlfriend told me to wash, and quarter the apples and cook away, using a foley mill to take away peels AND core/seeds. It worked perfectly and was easily half the work:) For my taste it needed quite a bit of sugar. I used brown and white beet sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.

  5. I just made my third harvest from a neighbor’s tree so I can try making apple butter. I’ve already made jelly, sauce, and spiced, whole crabapples. I don’t cut mine or take anything off. I cooked them and then used the food mill/ricer. All the waste stayed on top and beautiful sauce came out. Also, this third harvest did not need any sugar at all. I’m going to harvest later next year and keep the sugar lower!!

  6. Hello I made crabapple sauce and canned it with a water bath canner however it was not as thick as I would like. Would like to do it over with a thicker consistency need help. Please advise how I can thicken this runny sauce then can it. Thank you

    1. Hi Charlene, you could try removing some of the excess water from your crabapple sauce by straining it through a jelly strainer bag or several layers of cheesecloth. I suppose you could also try cooking some of the extra water out of the sauce.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star