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Are Honeycrisp apples good for making applesauce?

Honeycrisp apples are a popular apple variety that many people enjoy eating fresh. However, some may wonder if these sweet and crisp apples also make good applesauce. Here is a look at how suitable Honeycrisp apples are for making homemade applesauce.

What Makes a Good Apple for Applesauce?

When choosing apples for applesauce, there are a few important criteria to consider:

  • Texture – Apples with a soft, mealy texture will break down more easily when cooked.
  • Sweetness – Sweet apples give applesauce more flavor.
  • Tartness – A touch of tartness helps balance out the sweetness.
  • Juiciness – Juicy apples will make for a smoother, saucier applesauce.
  • Firmness – Firmer apples hold their shape during cooking.

Ideally, the best apples for applesauce have a balanced sweet-tart flavor, a soft flesh, and a high juiciness that creates a smooth puree texture.

How Honeycrisp Apples Rate for Applesauce

So how do Honeycrisp apples stack up based on these criteria for making great applesauce?


Honeycrisp apples are prized for their sweetness. On a sweetness scale of 1 to 10, Honeycrisp apples rate about an 8. This intense sweetness gives them outstanding eating quality for fresh eating, but can make them overly sweet for applesauce unless balanced by more tart apples.


In terms of tartness, Honeycrisp apples rate around a 3 on a 1 to 10 scale. They have a low acidity and tartness compared to many apples. This makes them less ideal for balancing sweetness in applesauce blends.


Honeycrisp apples have a crisp, juicy flesh. When cooked down into applesauce, they tend to get very soft and almost mushy in texture faster than apples like Granny Smith. The soft flesh does break down easily, but can verge on being almost too soft for some people’s tastes.


The juicy flesh of Honeycrisp apples does impart nice moisture to applesauce. This contributes to a smooth, almost velvety texture.


Since Honeycrisp apples get so soft when cooked, they rate low on firmness. The softened flesh can thicken up a bit as it cooks down, but it does not retain much firm texture.

Best Uses for Honeycrisp Apples in Applesauce

Based on their flavor and texture qualities, here are some of the best ways to use Honeycrisp apples for making delicious applesauce:

  • Combine with tart apples – Mixing sweeter Honeycrisp apples with Granny Smith or other tart apples helps cut the sweetness to balance the flavor.
  • Leave some small chunks – Cooking Honeycrisp apples just until soft but leaving a few chunks provides more textural variety.
  • Flavor with spices – Honeycrisp apples pair nicely with warm spices like cinnamon, allspice, cardamom and ginger to complement the sweetness.
  • Mix into other purees – Pureeing cooked Honeycrisp apples with roasted squash or sweet potatoes mellows the sweetness.
  • Blend with Greek yogurt – The tang of yogurt balances out the intense sweetness of Honeycrisp applesauce.

How to Make Honeycrisp Applesauce

Here is a simple recipe highlighting how to make delicious Honeycrisp applesauce:


  • 3 pounds Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice


  1. Place the chopped Honeycrisp apples into a saucepan with the water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are completely softened.
  3. Remove lid and continue to cook for 5 more minutes to evaporate any excess liquid.
  4. Stir in sugar, lemon juice and spices. Cook 2 more minutes.
  5. Use an immersion blender to puree the applesauce right in the saucepan until smooth. Alternatively, transfer to a blender or food processor to puree.
  6. Taste and adjust sweetness or spice to your liking.
  7. Serve warm or chilled.

The spices and acidity from the lemon juice help offset the sweetness of the Honeycrisp apples in this recipe. Tailor the spice blend to your tastes.

Pros and Cons of Using Honeycrisp for Applesauce

Here is a summary of some of the key pros and cons of using Honeycrisp apples to make applesauce:


  • Sweet, rich apple flavor
  • Smooth, juicy texture
  • Softens easily when cooked
  • Works well combined with tart apples
  • Lovely aroma while cooking


  • Can become too soft and lose too much texture
  • Very sweet on its own, needs balancing
  • Expensive compared to other apple varieties
  • Difficult to find in large quantities

The Best Apple Varieties for Applesauce

While Honeycrisp can make tasty applesauce, there are other apple varieties that are even better suited for making the best homemade applesauce. Here is a comparison of some top apples for applesauce:

Apple Variety Texture When Cooked Sweetness Tartness Sauce Texture
McIntosh Soft, saucy Sweet Mildly tart Smooth, juicy
Cortland Tender, creamy Sweet Tart Smooth, thick
Empire Soft, pulpy Sweet-tart Tart Chunky, pulpy
Jonathan Soft, saucy Sweet-tart Tart Smooth, thin
Fuji Silky, creamy Sweet Mildly tart Smooth, velvety
Granny Smith Soft, chunky Mildly sweet Very tart Chunky, tart

As you can see, apples like McIntosh, Cortland, and Fuji tend to get ultrasoft when cooked, while still retaining enough structure to avoid getting too mushy. Their balanced sweet-tart flavor also makes them exceptional for applesauce. Granny Smith apples are a great tart addition to balance sweeter varieties like Honeycrisp.


While Honeycrisp apples are delicious eaten fresh, they are just average when it comes to making the best homemade applesauce. Their ultra sweet flavor needs balancing from more tart apples, and their soft flesh can become almost too mushy when cooked down. They make an exceptional addition when combined with apples like Granny Smith, but other varieties like McIntosh and Cortland are naturally better suited for sauce making. Their balanced sweet-tart flavor, creamy tender flesh, and smooth pureed texture when cooked make varieties like these the very best options for applesauce.