Fermented Applesauce

Fermented Applesauce


Is it apple time already?  I feel like it’s too early for apples, but nope, they are here!  Tis the season.  Apples, apples everywhere!  It’s apple season finally!  The mornings here are beginning to feel crisp (we had our first frost a couple nights ago) and fall is in the air.  Fall is my most favorite time of the year but I’m not ready for yet this year.  We’ve had such a short summer… maybe we’ll have an extra long autumn?

This applesauce is a great way to get your ferment reluctant kids (or husbands) eating some ferments.  It’s short ferment time keeps it from getting too sour and what kid doesn’t like applesauce?  My kids like to mix a spoonful or two into their slightly cooled oatmeal.

Fruit ferments like this aren’t really meant to keep fruit from harvest to harvest.  Even in the fridge, the fruit will continue to ferment and with a higher sugar content, it will create alcohol.  It’s best to eat fruit ferments within a few weeks.  If you are worried about alcohol content, especially if you are pregnant or planning on serving this to children, keep the fermentation time on the counter short and sweet.  You can even just pop it straight into the fridge and let if ferment there for about 5-7 days.  Adding a starter like Caldwell’s will also keep the ferment from going to alcohol.  The extra bacteria boost will help the lactic acid producing bacteria proliferate before the alcohol producing yeast.  And lastly, add the honey to taste after fermenting at room temp.  That’s just less sugar to turn into alcohol.

And yes, I use salt to keep this ferment safe.  Salt inhibits the bad bacteria and the good bacteria love it.  Don’t worry, we don’t use much salt at all and after fermenting, it tastes less salty.  I like the sweet and salty taste myself.


Fermented Applesauce


  • A bunch of apples, about 2 lbs makes a quart of applesauce
  • 5 gms of salt per quart of apples (ends up being about 1 tsp fine grain salt)
  • 1/8 tsp Caldwells Starter optional
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 2 cloves (or a pinch of ground)
  • a pinch of allspice
  • optional splash of lemon juice to keep it from turning brown.
  • honey to taste (added after fermentation is complete)


  1. Peel, core and roughly cut up apples.
  2. In a food processor, add apples, salt, and lemon juice if using. Puree until desired texture. Leave chunky or make it smooth, it's up to you. Or do half chunky, half smooth. That's how I like mine.
  3. In a 1.5 liter jar, add apples and spices. Cover tight and fill airlock with water if using. Let set at room temp for 1-3 days. Apples can go to alcohol quickly so aim for a shorter time. I put mine in the fridge as soon as I notice fermentation activity. If you house is warm, 1 day is all that's needed. If you house is cold like mine (around 65F), you might need 2-3 days on the counter.
  4. After it's fermented, add honey or your sweetener of choice to taste. Place in cold storage (33F-55F).
  5. Eat within 3-4 weeks. Freeze any leftovers.

The airtight fermentation vessel I prefer is The Boss Pickler from Primal Kitchens.

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7 comments to Fermented Applesauce

  • Chelsea

    I am so excited to try this with my daughter with autism! She loves applesauce but balks at any fermented foods other than store-bought coconut yogurt… Thank you so much! I just added an apple corer/peeler/slicer to my amazon shopping cart. Can’t wait to try this!

  • I do not like the boss pickler I talked to Katherin at pickle-it and she said that the boss pickler was the first prototype that she used and it did not keep all of the mold at bay so the the maker of that pickler now just gave it another name called the boss pickler . So I will not be using that product I do like your sight and all the good recipes I just thought you would like to know about that product

  • Dawn Lee

    I have a question… I made apple jelly 3 weeks ago, and had 6 pints of apple sauce left, which I FORGOT to process!! The jars have been sitting at room temp since then, and this morning I noticed that the applesauce was trying to leak out of the top. I opened one and it smelled fermented – rather yeasty actually. After reading your post recipe above, I think it may be ok to use for baking – except that I never put any salt in it. Would it be too risky to use since there is no salt in it to inhibit the bad bacteria?

    • Charlie

      I say go for it as long as there isn’t any visible mold on it. As for the alcohol that is a byproduct of the fermentation process it will evaporate from the sauce if given enough surface area and heat.

  • Kenwyn

    I thought if you Ferment fruits and vegetables they keep longer then 3 to 4 weeks? why don’t they?

  • Nancyb

    Can you ferment this applesauce without using a boss pickler? And how long do fermented fruits and veggies last & how do you store them?

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